Placeholder Image for Video Content

25 Years Since the End of the War in Kosovo

The events of and preceding the war in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, and the ensuing NATO campaign, are being continuously misused and instrumentalized in the Serbian public. Even after 25 years, Serbian official and public discourse, education programs, memorialization, and media renderings of these events remain devoid of any serious, state-driven will to deal with the events of 1999 in a self-reflective manner.

On the contrary, a self-victimizing narrative surrounding the Kosovo War has being increasingly mythologized and rendered official. This is especially true of events preceding the intervention, and the role of the Serbian police, military, and paramilitary apparatus therein.

Kosovar official policies of remembrance are also dominated by a monolithic official narrative, leaving little room for constructive debate. Both these contexts are clear manifestations of (and they also manifest themselves into) the ongoing stalled normalisation negotiations between the two states.

Perspectives SEE: Political Upcycling

In reassessing hbs’ previous efforts in providing a meaningful space for discussion on the memorialization and general public discourse of the events of 1999, we have come to the realization that our 2019 publication Perspectives SEE on the 20th anniversary of the war is, unfortunately, still very much pertinent and topical, thus:

Perspectives cover

Perspectives - Kosovo 1999-2019: A Hostage Crisis

Twenty years on from the Kosovo War, the collective memory of both parties in the conflict remains burdened by myths and incontestable truths about what actually took place. The process of reconciliation and building longstanding peace is being undermined, primarily, by political elites in both countries, whose populist policies amplify the prejudices between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs. In this issue of Perspectives we aim to highlight the fact that Kosovo is not just a toponym, but a country burdened by its recent violent history, where common people are struggling to rebuild the broken societies that the conflict has left behind.