Artistic Intervention

22.07 → 30.10.2022
Partisan Martyrs' Cemetery Monument


Sislej Xhafa

Artistic Intervention – Sislej Xhafa

frosted pocket , 2022 © Sislej Xhafa. Photo © Manifesta 14 Prishtina, Ivan Erofeev
frosted pocket  , 2022 © Sislej Xhafa. Photo © Manifesta 14 Prishtina, Ivan Erofeev

Most memorials become invisible over time. However important their narrative might once have been, their significance tends to blur and fade. The Partisan Martyrs’ Monument in Prishtina’s Velania neighbourhood is a case in point.

Designed to help establish the mythology around partisan resistance in the second world war, the monument consists of a star-shaped complex with a globe in its middle. Like the triangular obelisk in the centre of town, it stands for universal “brotherhood and unity”. Since the Kosovo War in 1999, the monument has been overshadowed by the addition of a cemetery for Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers and a grave for former president Ibrahim Rugova.

Now more of a playground than a site of remembrance, its status is widely contested. Within the walls of this now dilapidated monument to martyrs and heroes, Sislej Xhafa has assembled the elements of an alternative narrative: a dysfunctional petrol pump, a chair, a solar panel charger, a mobile phone and a paid attendant. Entitled frosted pocket, the new story unfolds over the 100 days of Manifesta 14 Prishtina.


Sislej Xhafa
frosted pocket  

petrol pump, umbrella,  chair, attendant, solar panel charger, mobile phone 

Commissioned by Manifesta 14 Prishtina with the support of Galleria CONTINUA, San Gimignano, Paris, Habana, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Les Moulins, Roma