Wednesday, June 10, 2015


(By Okke Lucassen)

I am not sure you are aware of this, but I am henceforth famous. I have just concluded an interview along with my wonderful, dear friend Roxy on the national Radio-Television Station of Kosovo. After a brief wait in the lobby of the radio tower, we were escorted to the studio where the interview was to be conducted. In the control room of the studio our grand group was introduced to the hosts of the radio station of RTK and the Kosovan artist Xuxi. Xuxi is opening an awareness raising art exhibition on the survivors of rape during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995 and the Kosovo war of 1998-1999. She has gathered skirts from survivors from all around Kosovo and will present them in an exhibition in the local football stadium in Prishtina. Some of our students will make time in our already tight schedule to help launch the exhibition. International news stations such as CBS will provide the international coverage of this Kosovar venue. 

After our lovely meeting with Xuxi, we are shown around the studio room itself which is rocking some new Albanian Kosovo music. As I am taking in the surroundings, the hosts ask the group for two people to talk to them on the show and I suddenly realise that I yesterday volunteered to speak on AUC’s behalf on the radio broadcast. The current slightly-hungover me is regretting my adamant commitment to get involved, as I am scouring to the background in the hope that everyone may have forgotten my proclamation of the day before. Whilst I am hiding in plain sight, Eric raises his voice saying: “Well, we do have a few individuals who always know the answer to everything and would very much like to speak on the show” All eyes are on me all of a sudden. Clearly no one has forgotten my vows as well as I did up until a few minutes ago and my heart rate instantly triples. Shit! I do not feel ready to participate in a live radio show having had 4,5 hours of sleep and a good night of clubbing in Prishtina the night before. Yet I must remain courageous like the brave people of Kosovo.

Luckily my dear friend Roxy, who is her usual active, energetic and happy self - even after a night of clubbing - will stand by me. Even though the nerves are starting to get to me, the radio hosts are very friendly and professional, preparing us for the interview and making sure we’re comfortable. They discuss the subjects we will cover during the live show in an informal way that automatically put us in the mindset of talking about the topics at hand. I was expecting an in-depth dialogue on the international political status of Kosovo, the wars or the state- and peace building operations here in Kosovo, but instead they want to have a brief, light-hearted insight into our experiences in Kosovo so far.

To everyone’s benefit, my concerns were for naught. The interview went very well. They asked us where we were from, what we study, why we were here, what we have done so far, which organisations we have and will visit, what other cities we will go to, how we like the food, the people and the city of Prishtina. Naturally, we answer truthfully and share our thoughts of our limited yet pleasant experiences so far:

The grace of Prishtina, its people, culture, and passion may be born new, yet it has truly touched us.  

1 comment:

  1. Okke, I'm sure you weren't as nervous and uncomfortable with the thought of being broadcast on live radio as you're making it seem. After all, you're a natural when it comes to holding speeches and stating your opinion ;-) And with Roxy by your side, what could have gone wrong? I'm surprised you got a full 4,5 hours of sleep, btw. I heard that last year the students often had only 3 hours of sleep... But I guess with the reduced agenda you have it a bit easier than them. Good luck exploring the culture of Kosovo and her people. Be sure to share some more photos (you know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words). So long, Nick