The city of Prishtinë/Priština has always been an area in flux with people coming and going which has been inhabited for nearly 10.000 years. The first historical record mentioning Prishtinë/Priština by its name dates back to 1342 while during the 14th and the 15th century, it became an important mining and trading center on the Balkan market. The city has gone through the Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Slavic reign, all of them leaving marks on its history and heritage.
To capture at least some of its rich history, the Oral History Initiative, through the “Inter-community Dialogue through Inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation” project, set out to map the stories of Prishtinë/Priština residents that tell of important moments of the past one hundred years. They conducted twenty-nine oral history interviews and consulted over one hundred interviews from the Oral History Kosovo digital archive (oralhistorykosovo.org) and other public and privately-owned photographic archives. The result is countless personal stories that take note of key cultural and political events that have defined the contours of Prishtinë/Priština’s contemporary identity brought together in an app aptly named Pristina Walks.
Pristina Walks is a multilingual interactive map whose architecture was designed to accommodate curated research as video, audio and text. The app consists of four thematized Walks: From a la Turca to a la Franga; Asphalt for Progress; The long ‘90s; and Memoryscapes, which altogether contain eighty-four points of interest supported by one hundred and ten short videos which reveal the city from the perspective of its own residents.
Each Walk offers immersive discovery and learning experiences that nurture curiosity about cultural heritage, local history and architecture. Moreover, the Walks encourage walking as a way to create a sense of belonging and a culture of place.
Initiated in September 2018 by Oral History Initiative, Pristina Walks mobile app is a year-long research project on Pristina and it is part of the “Inter-community Dialogue through Inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation” project funded by the European Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and implemented by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo.
The app can be downloanded from the following links for Android and Apple products:
Photos are courtesy of Arben Llapashtica