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Panel discussion - Future without Enmity: Serbian-Albanian Relations in Perspective

PERFORM in cooperation with the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory organised a panel discussion entitled “Future Without Enmity: Serbian-Albanian Relations in Perspective” on 26 September 2016 in Dorcol Platz, in Belgrade.


The distinguished panel included:
Tanja Miscevic, Chief Negotiator for Negotiations on Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union
Odeta Barbullushi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Albania
Florian Bieber, Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz
Agron Bajrami, Chief Editor of Koha Ditore, Prishtina
Borko Stefanovic, Former Chief Negotiator of the Serbia and Kosovo* negotiation process 

Panelists discussed the current state of Serbian-Albanian relations, stressing the positive developments in relations between Serbia and Albania and efforts to bring closer the two nations. Initiatives such as the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), increased economic cooperation and joint infrastructural projects should also contribute to improved relations between the two nations. Youth exchange and cooperation is particularly important, as the young generations of Serbs and Albanians know very little about their Albanian/Serbian neighbors, their culture and tradition. That is why initiatives like this one – on breaking the stereotypes and negative images that Serbs and Albanians have about each other are very much needed.  

To that end, PERFORM is supporting a group of researchers in the processes of raising funds for the making of a documentary film on Serbian-Albanian relations, whose trailer was premiered at the event as well. The film, which will be a co-production of the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory and Samaljot Production, will combine interviews with academics and prominent public figures from both societies, as well as historical documents, archive footage, cutting edge graphic animation, and point of views of ordinary Albanians and Serbs to try to understand how the figure of the enemy was born, how it evolved during the common history and how it came to become the constitutive element of how two nations see each other.

This initiative builds on the results of the project “Figuring Out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations” implemented by the Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory in cooperation with partners from Kosovo and Albania, and with the support of another SDC project – Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP).