IETL Institute’s team engaged in the formulation of the Prishtina Municipality’s Art and Culture Strategy

Besa Zogaj – Gashi is the Executive Director of the IETL Institute and has the role of Project Manager and researcher in this project. Zogaj – Gashi has extensive experience in managing various projects at the local and central levels, working with local and international institutions, especially in drafting strategic documents for local economic development. With previous experience as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Kosovo, Zogaj – Gashi has successfully managed and coordinated various projects within this ministry. Zogaj – Gashi, as a licensed auditor for Business Friendly Environment (BFC)  and expert in sustainable economic development, brings an important dimension to this project. In this process, Zogaj – Gashi will promote discussions and emphasize the importance of objectives and projects that will contribute to the development of the cultural economy.

Philippe Kern is the founder and managing director of KEA – Europe’s leading consultancy and research center on culture and creative industries, based in Brussels. KEA helps territories managing cultural and creative resources to deliver innovation and economic sustainability. Philippe has more than 25 years’ experience in the world of culture, creative industries, public affairs and legal advice. He is a specialist in culture economics, copyright, anti-trust and trade law. He has led a range of research and strategy programs at international level, notably for the European Commission and the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and WIPO. Philippe set up IMPALA in 2000. He was former Director of Public and Legal Affairs of PolyGram (now Universal) and head of the IFPI Brussels office. Since 2019 He is chairman of b.creative the international network of cultural entrepreneurs.

Donjetë Murati is a researcher, curator, and cultural worker in Prishtina. She completed her Master’s studies in Sociology at “The New School” in New York, focusing on the Sociology of Arts, Politics, and Discourse Analysis, and her undergraduate studies in Sociology at the University of Prishtina. Recently, Murati was the program and research coordinator at the Center for Narrative Practice of the nomadic Biennale “Manifesta14 Prishtina.” She was responsible for the public program at the newly established institution, the production of artistic works and programs, as well as moderating events and public discussions. Previously, she collaborated on programs and research at the Lumbardhi Foundation. Her recent projects include “Prej Studio” with Ermir Zhinipotoku, “Beyond Binary: Through the Gender Spectrum” with the Zine Collective and the Sekhmet Institute, “Why Haven’t We Built a Dyson Sphere?” a collective exhibition commissioned by Kosovo 2.0, and “Monument of the First Flower” with Astrit Ismaili at the Ministry of Culture Gallery. Murati is one of the founders of PART (Workers in Art), an initiative that brings together researchers, artists, curators, and independent practitioners in the field of art, exploring and generating responses to shaping cultural policies in Kosovo.

Dardan Selimaj is involved in the world of music, journalism, and event management, mainly in the music field. He started his journey in the music world as a member of the prestigious choir of the Kosovo Philharmonic (2003). Later, he took on the role of the manager of the Kosovo Philharmonic, a position he has held since 2012. His dedication to promoting music in Kosovo goes beyond the orchestra and choir of the Philharmonic. He is the founder of the DAM Festival (2006) and the Balkan Composers’ Competition (2019). Selimaj is a key figure in the cultural scene of Kosovo, playing a vital role as a member of the Initiating Council of the Kosovo Opera, contributing significantly to the development of this new cultural institution. His expertise also extends to television, having been part of the industry for almost two decades. His versatile roles as a journalist, presenter, and television producer have provided him with in-depth knowledge of the media. For a decade, he served as the Executive Producer of Kohavision.

Sali Shoshi is the executive director of “Cultural Heritage without Borders” (CHwB) in Kosovo, a position he has held since 2001. His journey with CHwB began as an assistant architect, transforming into the project manager for the restoration of five traditional towers in Kosovo, a project successfully completed in 2004. In his current role as Executive Director, Shoshi plays a crucial role in fostering collaborative relationships with local and international partners and organizations. Additionally, he actively engages with local institutions and civil society to ensure the effective implementation of various initiatives for cultural heritage. Sali’s extensive experience and expertise extend beyond the borders of Kosovo, as evidenced by his international engagements, where he shares knowledge on relevant topics such as heritage, reconstruction, and reconciliation in conflict and post-conflict scenarios. His efforts have been instrumental in promoting a strong working relationship between Scandinavian countries and the Balkans.

Arta Agani lives and works in Prishtina. From August 2016 to August 2020, she was the director of the National Gallery of Kosovo. She is the head of communication design and a typography professor at the “Evolution” Academy since 2007. She completed her master’s degree in graphic design at the University of Prishtina and is certified in exhibition design by the Department of Image Sciences at the Danube University in Krems, Austria. Her professional career includes graphic design as the main profession, artistic projects, and exhibitions, focusing on project management and curating exhibitions. Her recent engagements include curating the Kosovo Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017 with artist Sislej Xhafa and serving as the commissioner of the Kosovo Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019 with curator Vincent Honore and artist Alban Muja. She is the founder and director of the ROMB Institute for artistic and cultural research and collaborates with Globalodromia Filoart from Berlin as a curator. Recently, she joined the “Universum” college as a lecturer in the concept of design, print technology, packaging, and typography.

Vullnet Sanaja is a head in the Anibar organization. In the last 15 years, he has been involved in the development of the independent cultural scene in Kosovo and the region, focusing on capacity building for cultural managers, advocating for better working conditions, and supporting public and organizational development and networking. Sanaja has been involved in initiatives and other cultural and environmental organizations in various roles, such as: Kooperativa – a regional cultural platform, Trans Europe Halles, Animation Academy, Peja Jazz, RrOK Peja, ERA, Cinema for the City, Cultural Forum, Into the Park Festival, and European Animation Awards.

Adrian Berisha served as the Director of Culture in the Municipality of Prishtina, dedicating himself to developing cultural policies for the capital in collaboration with other local, central, and regional cultural institutions. In 2022, Berisha was engaged as the events coordinator at the nomadic Biennale “Manifesta14Prishtina.” As a general coordinator, he was also engaged by the Kosovo Opera for several projects. In early 2023, Berisha became part of the founding group for the creation of the artistic fluid collective DISKO GRUPI. As an autodidact and independent artist, Berisha has become known in his city, distinguishing himself not only in the field of music but also through involvement in various social and cultural activities. His interventions in the artistic scene have been numerous. He became part of the “Sunny Hill Festival” as the logistics coordinator, continuing with other projects such as Prishtina Jazz Week, Verë n’ Dimër, and concerts by famous world bands and artists. Berisha was honored with an award for contribution to society by the “PËR TË MIRËN” initiative created by activist Mentor Dida. Currently, he is pursuing studies in project management for art and culture at the Rome Business School.

Qëndresa Zeka is a graphic designer whose activities extend between Milan and Prishtina. She completed her studies in graphic design and a master’s degree in innovation design. She also completed a master’s degree in digital transformation with a focus on new business design. She worked as a graphic designer and program coordinator at Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art and as a graphic designer for Manifesta 14 in Prishtina and Manifesta 15 in Barcelona.

Rina Statovci has been involved in various cultural organizations and initiatives in different roles over the past 5 years. Statovci worked on developing programs and audiences as an audience relations assistant at the National Gallery of Kosovo and coordinator of the “Paper Gallery,” where she created and supervised the annual exhibition program and its promotion. In 2021, she worked with the organization “Anibar” as the head of the media and communication department, overseeing the organization’s communication strategy throughout the year. In 2022, Statovci was engaged as a project and event manager for the community at “Manifesta14Prishtina,” where she was responsible for organizing and managing events at the Oasis of the Center for Narrative Practice.”

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