Peaceful Change initiative “Media Award” celebrates the power of positive journalism and shines a light on important stories of multi-ethnic coexistence in Kosovo and Serbia.
Journalist Ilir Gashi won the first prize in the category of stories written originally in Serbian for his piece “The alternative Balkan postal system – or how to transport mysterious powder across borders”, published on K2.0. Dina Hajrullahu and Arrita Katona from K2.0 created illustrations for the story.
The longform article, produced within the Resilience project, is about the importance of bus drivers and passengers, travelling across the Balkan countries, for the safe transport of various necessities from one address to another. It tells you about maintaining connections across borders and, as the author puts it: It’s not things that travel, it’s people. And only when people can’t travel do they send things. Even then, in fact, it’s not things that travel — it’s people’s feelings that travel.
“Three things led me to thinking about writing the story. The first one is the realization that it is literally impossible to send a postal package from Belgrade to Pristina, because Serbian state postal company doesn’t recognize the one in Kosovo. The second one is that, because of this, people in both countries use bus companies to send packages to each other. The third one is that they send all kinds of things – and becoming a “postman” myself, I became curious about these objects, and stories of people and relationships behind them”, explains Gashi.
PCi “Media Award” aims to promote and reward media content from Kosovo and Serbia which emphasise the positive, particularly when it comes to depicting the reality of multi-ethnic co-existence of communities. The award is part of the “Amplifying Local Voices for Equitable Development” (ALVED) project, supported by the United Kingdom Government Fund for Conflict, Stability and Security (CSSF).