For two months, TULLA Culture Center offered to the public the “Manifest of Survival” – Collective Exhibition of Kosovan Artists. Thirteen years after Kosovo’s proclamation of independence, ten artists bring their works to Tirana, curated by Alban Nimani, with a focus on celebrating independence and freedom.

The exhibition consisted of works with a variety of mediums, namely: i) paintings, ii) photography, iii) objects, iv) video and v) literature, where:

I) The bulk of the exhibition comprises paintings. The participating artists are five and each has brought at least two works, realized mainly during the last two years. Artan Hajrullahu, an artist born and based in Gjilan, who is inspired by everyday life, has created six pencil paintings on paper, named “Untitled”. In archaic colors, in a simple and nostalgic style, they sometimes show the mundane lives inside the house, and sometimes they show Superman and flying cars.

Driton Hajredini, the artist who has lived for years outside Kosovo, has brought two black birds in two cold environments. In “The Disappointed Guard”, a raven stands on a closed suitcase, while in “Wake me up before you go go” a black rooster sings, while a window cleaner does their job by standing on a pistol with a soft barrel twisted around itself.

Jakup Ferri, an artist formed in the Netherlands, who paints on fabrics, glass and walls, comes up with two paintings that contrast in the base, one is black and one is pink, but they match the feeling they transmit and the activities that come alive in them. The subjects that populate the two untitled paintings resemble the colorful cartoon characters of the ’80s -‘90s. One group plays music on a common instrument and everyone is pervaded by a festive harmony, while the second group, made up of human and non-human subjects, resembles a circus where some perform and others have fun. The movement, the colors and the fun unfold in the two works of Jakup Ferri.

Jeton Gusia, brings two oil paintings that present two completely different landscapes, but in dark tones and many details. In “Untitled”, an urban moment connects two fast food street vendors and a sunglasses vendor, as pedestrians wandering the cobblestone streets. The second painting, called “Bee”, shows a beekeeper with the characteristic garment, wandering between the hives in the apiary colored in an unnatural, chemical green, which seems almost unsuitable for the life that grows around.

Finally, an artist born and raised in Prishtina, Rron Qena, has brought two expressionist oil paintings, entitled “Self-Portrait” and “Fisherman”, the first has prominent colors of green and red and the second one has a deep blue.

II) The two photos of the exhibition were shot by the only female artist in it, Albe Hamiti, and they are titled “Boys of Zasella”, according to the village near the Municipality of Mitrovica. In these photos, the photographer from Mitrovica based in Berlin, presents two achromatic and pre-adolescent boys of the area, who appear in motion, playful and affectionate towards each other.

III) The objects consist of the works of two conceptual artists. The first two are by Driton Selmani and consist of a plastic bag and a glass bottle. “Watercolor With our Present Tears of the Past” is written in acrylic on the plastic bag, called Anais. The recyclable glass bottle carries a recyclable paper, which reads “Lorem Ipsum” in charcoal pencil, the Latin phrase used by graphic designers to market their models, which originates from the work of Cicero “De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” ( On the ends of good and evil), dating to 45 BC.

The other two objects were created by Fatmir Mustafa – Karllo and are called “Cheers”. They are red heels, size 37(eu), traversed by a cigar and positioned away from each other. A cabaret feel combines the style of the shoe, the cigar and the title of the work.

IV) A series of videos lasting 21 minutes, entitled “Seeds of Concept” is projected in the middle of the exhibition space. It features a conversation between young people from the Kosovan art collective HAVEIT and the German artistic duo EMPFHANGSHALLE, in Munich, Germany. It is followed by views of the city of Prishtina and its identifying elements, such as unfinished buildings, churches and shops, which have changed function and appearance in the recent years. The people of post-war Kosovo and the spaces dedicated to consumerism appear. The video flows obliquely and touches on different areas and experiences, focused on the position of Kosovo, its youth and art, concepts that are constantly interconnected, as the conversation between the young people is interrupted by the guardian and they are expelled from the environment where they are staying.

V) Kosovan actor and writer Shpëtim Selmani, who in 2020 was awarded with the European Union Prize for Literature for his book “Booklet of Love”, has brought the only written work in the Manifest of Survival , or “the anti-political manifest”, as he calls it. Eighteen paragraphs contain thoughts, poems and statements written by the author on Kosovo, history, time and himself.

*Alban Nimani is a contemporary artist from Kosovo, experiments in the new media and electronic music, creating a link between many genres of music and art. Once a co-founder of the group ” Asgjë sikur Dielli “, he now runs the TULLA Cultural Center in Tirana.