Site Profiles: Interviewee Areas of Kosovo
Livadje lies Skulanevo; a few days from the time of this writing, a Serb
resident there went fishing and was shot in the mouth.
in this region have fewer security issues due to language. 15 Ashkalija families
recently returned to the Vranjevac neighborhood of Pristina city.
area residents garden small plots of land and own a few chickens, goats or pigs.
The luckier ones own cows. This area’s economic mainstays are agriculture,
livestock, and the western NGO/ UNMIK/ KFOR presence. Internationals tired of
living in Pristina have moved en masse to the Serb areas south of the town,
where the rents are cheaper. Pork- not found in many restaurants in Pristina-
draws many internationals to Gracanica’s new restaurants. Before 1999, this
area functioned as a Pristina suburb; those not involved with agriculture in the
immediate area generally worked there. The area also made money from the
religious tourism generated by Gracanica’s monastery.
populations of Gracanica, Laplje Selo, Livadje and Caglavica were either farmers
or worked in Pristina before June of 1999. Since then the unemployment rate has
exploded due to Pristina’s sudden inaccessibility, the loss of agricultural
markets, and the inability of many farmers to work their fields due to the
security situation in outlying areas. The influx of Serb and Roma IDPs from all
over Kosovo add to this problem. Without a city the suburbs die; this population
is cut off from employment opportunities and everything from cinemas and
concerts to cultural events. They
lack both the means to earn a living and the institutions to enjoy it.
Laplje Selo, Livadje, Preoce and Caglavica pay no utilities. Electricity, water
and telephones have been free, albeit intermittent, since June of 1999. Kosovar
utility companies have repeatedly tried to shut down services; KFOR and UNMIK
situation, as explained to me by a Serb IDP from Pristina who has been trapped
in Gracanica for four years:
pay for my electricity, and my phone, and my water. Just give me back my
apartment in Pristina, and make it safe enough for me to work there, and they
can have all the money they want.”
of the area’s Serbs are unemployed; 98-99% of Roma are. Those that produce
goods can only sell those goods in the immediate area.
There is little trade with Albanians outside of a few Pristina
distributors that transport bulk goods to the area’s small shops for sale.
has an electro-technical secondary school, a medical secondary school and a
pedagogic secondary school. Serbs from the YU complex in Pristina are
transported to schools in Gracanica every weekday. In addition, primary schools
are located in all interviewee areas, and secondary schools are located in
Caglavica and Laplje Selo. Livadje students attend school in Gušterica, Laplje
Selo or Gracanica. University students attend school either via correspondence,
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories
©Bobby Anderson 2003-2009. All rights reserved.
This project was made possible by the generous financial support of the Open Society Institute Roma Culture Initiative.
Additional thanks to all other
donors & implementers
This study may be freely distributed, in whole or part, so long as the source is cited:
Who We Were, Who We Are: Kosovo Roma Oral Histories © Bobby Anderson 2003-2009
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