Ivan Đurić, Program Director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights and one of the organizers of the „Mirdita, dobar dan” has spoken about the rising nationalism in Serbia and Kosovo. He mentions this on occasion of the upcoming festival, and the announced right-wing protests against the festival, stressing that the aim of the festival is to create an opportunity for young people to meet, socialize and send a message of peace to the world.
„For years now, lies about the festival have been spreading, while the very message of the festival is to actually spread peace and reconciliation between Serbian and Kosovar societies instead of violence, hatred and division”, Mr Đurić said on his appearance in the morning show of Prva television.
Mr Đurić also said that it is fantastic that the Merdare highway will be constructed, but that what remains a question is who will travel that route – a question the Mirdita festival intends to explore.
„It’s kind of funny how Zavetnici show up only once a year, when Mirdita happens, as if they were performers for March 8th. But I am sorry that this year too the police will have to secure the festival participants because Zavetnici and other right-wing groups are protecting religious heritage by throwing smoke bombs at a cultural event from Terazije”, Djuric said.
Mr Đurić has pointed out that a discussion about the preservation of Dečani will be had, because neither Serbia nor Kosovo does that – just the NATO.
„We call those who claim Dečani as Albanian crazy, and it is true that such people exist, claiming that Dečani are Albanian, which is nonsense. However, we want to have an open dialogue about this, not to spread hatred”, he said.
He added that this year, apart from theatre, film and literary works, the festival will feature debates on key topics such as transitional justice, the beginning of the work of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, its way of work and justice for non-Albanian victims.