Culture

Art Music and Literature

Art Music and Literature
Gjakova Municipality is known for its long tradition in many sectors of culture such as music, visual and scenic arts, literature, etc.
Musicians, writers, actors and artists of figurative arts from this area have become famous names not only in Albanian inhabited areas, but even further. 
Today in Gjakova, it is the Directory of Culture, Youth and Sports that takes care of culture, having a special sector for cultural activities. The main activities take place in Culture House “Asim Vokshi”.

Also the groups of amateurs exercise their activities in this building, such as: amateur theater, groups of dancers with modern, national and folkloric dancing, the Choir of Men, already famous throughout Kosovo and abroad. 

Musical Art

Gjakova musicians were distinguished for preserving and cultivating Gjakovar characteristic music, which in one way fed the spirit of the people and kept their hope alive. The roots of Gjakovar characteristic music, inherited generation after generation, date as early as 250 years ago with singers and instrumentalists such as: Hamëz Kovaçi, Kolë Qorri (1800- 1863) , Jahja Xharra (1833 – 1931), Jahja Goga, Ukë Vronçi, Din Bakia. Father of Malush Stublla was the one that 150 years ago brought from Istanbul to Gjakova the knee accordion.

The three most popular artistic bands of that time were: musical society “Gajret“ (Durimi), musical society ”Kosova” and musical society “Agimi”, which was functional during the period 1924-1931. In its composition it had music sector, library and sports. The path of the precursors in cultivation of national folklore was continued also by: Ymer Riza, Hamëz Kaçi, Sami Dyla, Xajë Gola, Mazllom Mejzini, Ismet Peja, Hadi Bajrami,  Esat Bicurri, Shkelzen Jetishi, Zenel Doli etc.

Amongst the musical bands of these times to be mentioned are: the Choir of Men ”M.S. “Hajdar Dushi” founded in 1960, that is still active today, M.S. ”Ymer Riza”, M.S. ”Shote Galica”, M.S. “Metaliku”, AVI ”Skofiarët” and many other musical bands.


But Gjakova is famous also for artists who have gained popularity in symphonies, and have become known not only in Gjakova and Kosovo, but even wider, such as academic Zeqirja Ballata,  academic Rauf Dhomi, composer Esat Rizvanolli, Arbër Dhomi, conductor in Netherlands, Trimor Dhomi, composer in Prishtina, Shkelzen Doli, violinist in the Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, etc.

Besides music, the scenic art in Gjakova municipality has also a rich history which has started in the first decades of the 20th century.
Consequently Gjakova’s theatre has been established in 1977 as the second professional theatre in the country.
Based on the data, the first theatre act has been brought into play in 1925.
In fact, during the years 1924-1931 in Gjakova existed the society called “Agimi”. Amongst its activities, in 1925 it brought into play the act “Miti Rrumbullaku”. The act was played in the house of Niman Baraku. 
The actors that played in this act, known also as the first actors were: Munib Bokshi, Aziz Shasivari, Kapllan Axhanela, Sheh Danjolli, Halim Varaku and Sadik Tafarshiku. Roles of women in that act were played by Jusuf Këpuska and Sherif Baraku.

But the theatre activity was intensified in 50s, specifically starting from 1954 when the amateur theatre “Emin Duraku” was established. In 1977, this theatre was converted to a professional theatre.
Tens of projects with different subjects, from national and international authors, that were realized during years, were shown in front of the local public and in other areas inhabited by Albanians and wider.

The most famous names from this theatre were: Hadi Shehu, Hysen Binaku, Sulejman Lokaj, Jahja Shehu, Hajrullah Zherka, Myrvete Kurtishi, Gani Jetishi, Niman Muçaj, Ramazan Berkani, Qefsere Kurtishi etc.
A new generation of professional artists have joined this theatre to continue the nearly century old tradition.

Literary art also takes an important role in the culture of Gjakova municipality.

Amongst the first personalities of the Gjakova culture – with national orientation- is “Gjon Nikollë Kazazin”, who was born on January 1, 1702.

He was educated in the colleges of Fide Propaganda, where he concluded his studies in philosophy and theology. In 1740 in the library of Fide Propaganda in Rome he discovered the only copy of Gjon Buzuku’s Meshar, the most ancient monument of the written Albanian known until today. But this prelate added the catechism in Albanian language to this writing, which remains the oldest document of Gjakova’s dialect.


Gjakova’s madrasah

where the religious teaching was taking place, it is said to have had a rich library with writings even from the laic fields. One of the creators of this time it is said to be Tahir Efendi Gjakova (Tahir Boshnjaku) and his writing “Vehbije.”


Bektashi Tekke

in Gjakova became one of the most important centers of national education and culture in the city and wider. The first scholars of this Tekke are said to be: Baba Adem Vexhi, Baba Hamza Gjakova, Baba Qazim Bakalli etc. Other Tekkes as well, such as the Grand Tekke  and Sheh Emin Tekke had collections of religious books, but also laic ones.

Amongst the representatives of the National Awakening to be mentioned is Shtjefën Gjeçovi, who for some time lived and carried out his activities in Zym of Has area, but expanded his religious and national activities even in the villages of Gjakova municipality. Besides all the publishing from different fields, he has great merits in codifying and publishing the Code of Lekë Dukagjini.

In Gjakova, since 1964, the literary club “Gjon Nikollë Kazazi” has been active.

This club included popular names of prose and poetry famous in country level and wider such as: Enver Gjergjeku, Rexhep Hoxha, Besim Bokshi, Din Mehmeti, Ali Podrimja, Teki Dervishi, Sefedin Fetiu, Xajë Nura, Kadrush Radogoshi, Nexhmedin Soba, Halil Haxhosaj, Agim Byci, Nimon Muqaj etc, whereas a great contribution in enriching the literature in this area was given by young poets as well. 

Gjakova is known as a city of poetry, because for more than six decades it holds the biggest event in literature in the country known as “the Meeting of the poetry”, which in the recent years has become of an international character. This literary event has been held in Gjakova since 1964. In the beginning it was of a Kosovar character, but recently it has been turned into an international event.


Visual arts

Gjakova is known for a great number of painters, a number of which live in different cities inside and outside the country. Their role and contribution is recognized even in establishing the Faculty of Arts within University of Prishtina.

The most famous artists in the field of painting originating from Gjakova are: Avdurrahim Buza, Qamil Grezda, (born in Gjakova, but they lived and operated in Albania), academic Muslim Mulliqi, academic Tahir Emra,  academic Rexhep Feri, Fatmir Krypa, Masar Caka, Esat Valla,  Ibrahim Ponosheci, Halil Muhaxhiri,  Bedri Emra, and many others.

Some of these painters, such as academic Muslim Mulliqi, academic Tahir Emra, academic Rexhep Feri and prof. Fatmir Krypa have opened individual and joint exhibitions, almost in all continents, and those were assessed highly by the critics.

All of them, four decades earlier, have established in Gjakova the association of painters. 
Other members, famous as well, such as Sulejman Kadrija, Enver Jaka, Naim Berisha, Kamuran Goranci, Kastriot Nura, Erzen Vala, Alban Meka… have also become known in the country and beyond. 

Gjakova has the gallery of arts within the Culture Palace, which is considered as a gallery that fulfills the conditions for opening an exhibition.

Amongst Gjakova’s sculptors we must mention Luan Mulliqi, who with his sculptures of Fehmi Agani and Mother Teresa in Tirana, has been assessed highly by the critics.


Librarianship

The first library in the city was founded in 1947, as a goodwill initiative and contribution of some intellectuals and teachers of that time. In the beginning it functioned in a small building in the college yard. In enriching the library a great contribution was given by many citizens, especially teachers, donating to this library books from their personal libraries. A person to be specifically highlighted was professor Hilmi Kryeziu, who donated to this library a great collection of his own books.

Before the war in 1999, apart from the city library (even though in much tougher conditions) there were another six functional libraries in the villages of the municipality, such as Cërmjan,  Skivjan,  Ponoshec,  Brekoc, Bishtazhin  and Rogovë. The library buildings in villages Brekoc and Ponoshec have been burnt during the last war. 

Since 2009, Gjakova’s library has been relocated in a modern building with 1600 square meters, situated in the center of the city. It bears the name of the first president of Kosovo - Dr Ibrahim Rugova. Apart from thousands of books in Albanian, the readers have the possibility to find also books in English and in French. Within the library there are two special sections for these two languages.

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