7 Arte, Advocacy Training & Resource Center – ATRC, Alter Habitus, Anibar, Aragonit, Artpolis, Asociacioni Kosovar “Chopin”, Autostrada Biennale,BIRN Kosova, CBM, CDF, CHwB Kosova, CRDP, DAM Festivali, Docomomo_Kosova, DokuFest, EC Ma Ndryshe, Environmentally Responsible Action Group – ERA, Festivali i Arkitekturës në Kosovë, Fondacioni Kosovar i Arkitekturës, Fondacioni Kosovar për Shoqëri Civile – KCSF, Fondacioni Lumbardhi, Fondacioni për Trashëgimi Kulturore – Legatum, FRABAAC, Fryma e Re, IITP, Iniciativa Kosovare per Stabilitet – IKS, Instituti Demokratik i Kosovës – KDI, Instituti GAP, Instituti i Prishtinës për Studime Politike – PIPS, Instituti per Politika Zhvillimore – INDEP, INTEGRA, Komunikimi Social – KOMS, Internews Kosova, Konsumatori, KosovaArs, Let’s do it Peja, Lëvizja FOL, Marimangat, Me dorë në zemër, Motrat, NGOMfest, Nisma e të Rinjve për të Drejtat e Njeriut Kosovë (YIHR), OJQ “ETEA”, OJQ “Mitrovica Guide”, OJQ “Mundesia”, OJQ BFF, OJQ PRAM, OJQ Rritu, ORCA, Plenumi për Arsim, Qendra Multimedia,Qendra Rinore Mitrovice – QRM, REDO Conference, Riverside, Rrjeti i Grave të Kosovës, Rrjeti I Organizatave të Kulturës Pejë, Rrjeti I Organizatave të Kulturës Prizren, S’Bunker, Stacion – Qendra për Art Bashkëkohor Prishtinë, STIKK, Syri i Vizionit, Shoqata për Përsonat e Verbër dhe me Shikim të Dëmtuar “Drita Jonë”, Teatri ODA, X40
It is the city’s cinema!
Jusuf Gërvalla Cinema is the only cinema and the epicentre of the cultural life of Peja. It represents common remembrance and cultural identity of its citzens as well as its visitors. The cinema is one of the rare reference points of the city that is part of the collective remembrance of Peja and Kosovo citizens.
This object represents a common cultural wealth that continuously contributes in the society’s development. The attempts of the independent cultural party in Peja for its revitalisation have received support from the entire community within and outside the country. Several workshops have been organised to rethink the cinema’s functions, and the responses received from the community concluded that the object is more than a cinema, it is an open area for the community where actvities with cultural and educative purpose are held.
Last week’s announcment from PAK in relation to the property liquidation threatens the city to remain without a cinema and without an important cultural centre. This announcment has also risked the revitalisation of the cinema which began in January 2017 when independent cultural institutions have been trusted by Peja Municipality with the cinema menagment for the next 15 years. We are convinced that strong legal and social arguments exist upon which we base out attempts to protect Jusuf Gërvalla cinema from privatisation, destruction, or its vanquishment.
We, the civic organisations from all around Kosovo, have joined the inciative to give back Peja a revitalised cinema. Through this declaration, we want to make clear our deternimed decision and our readiness to use every democratic tool to oppose the liquidation process of this public property. Based on the following arguments, we request the annulment of the privatisation process of Jusuf Gëvalla cinema.
The legal protection of the building
Jusuf Gërvalla is listed as part of the cultural heritage under temporary protection.
This list is approved by the Ministy of Culture, on October 10th, 2016. The cinema is the 467th protected object listed as part of the cultural heritage with the database number 000362.
Jusuf Gërvalla cinema is property of Peja’s Municipality in the cadastre
In the municipal cadastre, the property is listed as property of Peja with the cadastral unit number P-71611071-02398-1.
Urban Development Plan 2006-2025 approved on May 14, 2007, in Peja Municipal Assembly, places the cinema building as one of the most important monuments of the South-Western part of the city along with the threatre and other objects listed as cultural heritage objects of Peja.
Municipal Development Plan 2006-2025 appoved on May 14, 2007 in Peja Municipal Assembly. The cinema, along with several other monuments, represents the importance of municipal development and cultural identity of the city, listed along with other monuments, such as towers, museums, theatres, as part of the cultural heritage objects.
Social and cultural values
The building’s history – The cinema was built in the ‘50s of the 20th century and it is one of the oldest public objects in Peja. The technology of projecting through 35mm film was first brought to this building, and now for seven decades its space is a reference point for the cultural events of the city. Jusuf Gërvalla cinema is evidence of artistic, filmic, and threatrical tradition of the city and it has influenced the shaping of social and cultural identity of the community.
Birthplace of festivals – Jusuf Gërvalla cinema is the most important cultural area before and after the last war. In the Jusuf Gërvalla cinema a great amount of festivals began and were developed. An important part of the success, as well as the identity of these festivals is directly connected to Jusuf Gërvalla cinema. Therefore, any kind of alienation towards this area, is an attack upon these cultural events of Peja.
Cultural Landmark (reference point) – Except the cultural heritage values, Jusuf Gërvalla cinema has become a cultural landmarker, since it is one of the most known reference points in the city’s centre. As a cultural landmarker, Jusuf Gërvalla cinema is an icon (a symbol of multiple meanings) that represents (marks) an era, a region, a belief, a culture, a city, and a tradition. Cultural and historical landmarkers of today’s cities are treated as monuments of cultural heritage, and in many occasions they are declared as monuments under protection because through time they have become cultural landmarkers.
Colletive remembrance – Collective Remembrance – all these social and cultural values give the Jusuf Gërvalla cinema a special place in the collective remembrance of the citizens. The urban structure of Peja has undergone dractic transformations in the recent years, whereby the collective remembrance of the citizens (not only from Peja) for the city has been altered.
The selling and demolition of the Jusuf Gërvalla cinema would be another blow for the city which the citizens want to remember. Thousands of Peja citizens are supporting the initiative for the protection of the cinema. Their requests are about preserving the purpose of the cinema, as well as maintaing the builing’s current state. Therefore, every attempt to alter the current structure of the object, or/and the annihilation of it as a cultural/filmic area (cinema), aside everything else, it represents a violation of will against Peja citizens and an attack upon their collective remembrance.
The indepented cultural party in Peja pledges to
transform the cinema into a self-sustaining and multifunctional cultural space, which ofers a number of programs (film, production, filmic education, community space etcetera).
The initiative to give back the cinema to the city is structured around a number of actions, that will proceed this common declaration, whereas our recommendations for the state institutions are:
- The cancellation of the privatisation process (through liquidation) of the Jusuf Gerrvalla cinema from the Privatisation Agency of Kosovo,
- The support of indepented cultural organizations and the network of cultural organizations in Peja to revitalize the city cinema
- Fundraising from the state budged , international and locan donors, and other stakeholders for the restoration and the revitalization of the Jusuf Gërvalla cinema building.