Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence, Human Rights Day

Kosovo Philharmonic pays tribute to victims of conflict-related sexual violence

Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Kosovo Philharmonic joined the 16 Days of Activism campaign dedicating their performance to victims of conflict-related sexual violence. Photo: UN Women Kosovo
Kosovo Philharmonic joined the 16 Days of Activism campaign dedicating their performance to victims of conflict-related sexual violence. Photo: UN Women Kosovo

On 8 December, ahead of Human Rights Day, the Kosovo[1] Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra held a concert to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign and performed “Requiem” by W.A Mozart. The concert served as a homage to women and girls who died as a result conflict-related sexual violence, while at the same time honoring the survivors who continue to suffer in silence because of shame and stigma.

During the opening of the concert, Ulrika Richardson, United Nations Development Coordinator in Kosovo, addressed the audience and thanked the Kosovo Philharmonic for joining the campaign and raising awareness on the elimination of gender-based violence. “The ‘Requiem’ is full of melancholy. It also expresses the pain of the past, honoring the dead, but also hope for the future,” said Ms. Richardson. The concert was a call to support survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, and break the silence and stigma surrounding this issue.

High profile figures from international organizations, ambassadors, local institutions and civil society organizations attended the concert.

The concert was a call to support survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Photo: UN Women Kosovo
The concert was a call to support survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Photo: UN Women Kosovo

This event marked the first time the Kosovo Philharmonic joined the cause of eliminating violence against women and girls. "On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Kosovo Philharmonic, in addition to the artistic part, the mission of the Philharmonic is also to be involved in awareness-raising campaigns such as this one for the elimination of gender-based violence," said Dardan Selimaj, Kosovo Philharmonic’s manager.

The vocal-instrumental piece "Requiem" was conducted by Rafet Rudi, with performances by the French soprano Amelie de Broissia, Kosovo mezzo-soprano Diellza Sylejmani, tenor Liridon Sadriu and Danish bass-baritone Lars Fosser.

The concert was supported by the Ministry of Culture, the French Embassy in Kosovo and Kohavision, the largest media outlet in Kosovo, in collaboration with UN Women Kosovo.

[1] All references to Kosovo in this story shall be understood in full compliance with the UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)