Chronicle

Funka goes graffiti in Kosovo

How come a Swede is in Kosovo to paint graffiti? Well, everything started with an article I wrote some years ago about being a graffiti artist in wheelchair. Charlotta Boucht, a Finnish freelance photographer, who has been working with disabled young people in Kosovo, invited me with two friends to hold a workshop in graffiti in Kosovo. The result was a creative week with many impressions and lots of spray paint.

Stefan Pelc

Title: Web Editor, Writer, Picture Editor and Training Instructor

The participants were around 15 disabled young people together with large number of volunteers, friends and family members.

Some of the participants sketching and drawing graffiti around a table. Photo: Charlotta Boucht

Graffiti creates attention

The purpose with the graffiti workshop was to create attention for the disability organization HandiKos and to focus on the situation for people with disabilities in Kosovo. The group would make a big graffiti painting of a tunnel wall under the railway. Several local and regional TV stations were in place to monitor both the workshop and the painting on the tunnel wall, which lead to major impact in media.

Participants in wheelchair paint graffiti with spray paint on a temporary wall. Photo Cesar Verdug Sanchez

A wall in the tunnel becomes graffiti painted. Photo: Cesar Verdugo Sanchez

Tough conditions for persons with disabilities

Kosovo is a self-proclaimed government and their state finances aren´t not so good, compared to for example Scandinavian countries. There are many people who pay a high price for this independence, in particular, people with disabilities.

Several participants paint graffiti on a tunnel wall. Photo: Charlotta Boucht

I, who also is in a wheelchair,  and live in Sweden has a ”life of luxury” with a job, personal assistance, assistive technology and a society with authorities, municipalities and county councils that focus on accessibility. It would make me happy if my disabled friends in Kosovo could have that too!

With a couple of boxes of spray paint, lots of colour pencils and some sketchpads and a large portion of laughter and joy you can get far!

How was it possible?

The journey was mainly financed by the Finnish foundation Abilis who has been working in Kosovo since the start of the war in the Balkans. It was the disability organization HandiKos who arranged the workshop. We went to Ferizaj, about 35 kilometres south of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.

HandiKOS Ferizaj goes graffiti, a short movie on Youtube from the graffiti workshop, opens in new window

A pedestrian tunnel under the railway, in one end of it, there is a crowd of people watching when the graffiti painting is created. Photo: Cesar Verdugo Sanchez

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