The Great Smog of 2020 refers to London’s famous smog in 1952 and puts in parallel one of the biggest problems of the major cities in the Balkans, listing in air quality measurements as the top 10 cities with the poorest air quality.
This top 10 list often includes Prishtina, Skopje, Sarajevo and Belgrade, they are even compared with major Asian industrial cities like Wuhan, Shenyang and Mumbai, sometimes surpassing them. One of the reasons for Prishtina’s poor air quality is the famous “smoke machine” the coal power plant in Obiliq(Kastriot), amongst other problems.
While the Republic of Kosovo’s Government is planning on building another coal plant and is seen as the only viable solution to stabilize electricity production. From this situation, there are a lot of questions to answer, for example: What is the reality of the consequences of polluted air? Do face masks make a difference? Why are these high numbers for poor air quality only in the winter? How can we compare ourselves to major industrial cities? What is the future of our planet? Will we have enough food in the future? Why Kosovars are not working their land? Do we have enough water in Kosovo? What are the solutions that the aforementioned countries in the Balkans are tackling their problems with? What was the solution for the Great Smog of London?
These questions will be answered by people working in the arts, environmentalists, activists and will be shown as one video with different answers as one compilation.
Engjëll Berisha is a freelance curator and production coordinator at Autostrada Biennale(Kosovo). He was the international project coordinator & pr at the National Gallery of Kosovo from 2018 until 2021. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Painting from the University of Prishtina at the Faculty of Arts. He has worked as a cultural journalist & moderator at Klan Kosova Tv(2013-2018). He was the artistic director & curator of exhibition space “Motrat”(2017-2018), where he curated shows like Yll Xhaferi / Toy Story. He was the assistant commissioner & project coordinator of the Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo at the 58th Venice Biennale / Alban Muja / Family Album.
Alban Muja is a Kosovan contemporary artist and film-maker. In 2019 he represented Kosovo at the 58th Venice Biennale. In his work he is mostly influenced by the social, political and economical transformation processes in wider surrounding region, he investigates history and socio-political themes and links them to his position in Kosovo today. His works cover a wide range of media including video installation, films, drawings, paintings, photographs and performance which have been exhibited extensively in various exhibitions and festivals.
Rinora Gojani, Balkan Green Foundation Foundation is the Programmes and Operations Manager at the Balkan Green Foundation. She has an extensive working experience in research, advocacy, capacity building, civic and grass route level engagement, fundraising, and project management focused on sustainable development, democratization, Western Balkans politics, and EU integration processes. Rinora holds a Master’s Degree in European Politics, with a focus on energy policy, from the University College Dublin.