After two years of hard work, we are proud to present the finished memorial of the HEROINES of Kosovo. It was a journey full of challenges, but yet so rewarding. Especially seeing that we touched so many hearts, and we made sure that we have an appropriate visual reminder of our past, so we do not forget.
During the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, women went through a tremendous sacrifice, contribution and pain. While hundreds of monuments and memorials were erected for Kosovar men, the architectural landscape and the history books have neglected the contribution and sacrifice of women. They remained the unacknowledged anonymous heroines of Kosovo’s history. But not anymore. With this memorial, symbolically, each of these anonymous heroines, is honored individually.
As we were researching for inspiration we came across a Human Rights Watch article which states that there are nearly 20,000 Kosovar women that were raped during the Kosovo war of the late 1990s. Most of these war crimes remain untried, and some of the victims still live with those horrifying memories and scars, every day and to this day.
We took this tragic number of victims, and transformed it into medals. Medals dedicated to each and every woman’s contribution and sacrifice for this country, no matter what age or occupation. And by these 20,000 medals, the face of the heroine of Kosovo is formed.
The research was mainly focused on creating a unique yet representative face of the Kosovar women. We conducted mostly photographic research, focusing especially on documentary photographs from the Kosovo war. We combined different portraits, and took out the most common features of a Kosovo woman, mixed them together, and created this representative portrait.