Saturday, December 24, 2022

This gorgeous KOSOVO women were all involved in MK Ultra(with Christiane Amanpour as #1 - involved since day 1 in 1995)

I am just saying because Serbia boasted about its women...there is plenty female beauty on Kosovo and in Bosnia....

War Women of Kosovo — A Lifetime Isn’t Long Enough (Self-released)


Photo by Damir Sagolj

Some media outlets have issued trigger warnings along with coverage of War Women of Kosovo’s A Lifetime Isn’t Enough, but they seem sort of superfluous. The first three tracks on this remarkable record are titled “My Teenage Daughter Was Raped in Front of Me and My Husband,” “I Was Twelve Years Old When They Raped Me (I Was Covered in Blood)” and “I Had Given Birth a Week before Being Gang-raped in My Home.” That’s all very hard to read, and things get even more difficult when you understand that those aren’t titles so much as tersely factual summaries of the real events the songs attempt to represent. The awful, bare affect of these songs is so immediate that a trigger warning might not be effective — the horror arrives too quickly, too unexpectedly. Which is how trauma registers its destructive, disruptive presence in the first place.

The War Women of Kosovo aren’t a band, or musicians, or artists. They are survivors of the Kosovo War of 1998-99, which is notable for its brutality even in the larger context of the bloody chaos that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia. Like much of that violence, the Kosovo War was driven by ethnic tensions and nationalist ambitions, between the Serbian-dominated Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now principally known as Serbia and Montenegro) and the Kosovar Liberation Army, composed by ethnic Albanians who sought independence for the region. An estimated 800,000 Kosovars were displaced and rendered vulnerable, out of a total population of two million. During that mass instability, Serbian military units systematically raped ethnic Albanian women, in a coordinated campaign of terror and abuse identified and prosecuted as a war crime by the UN and its International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal estimates that at least 20,000 women were raped. 

Those are impossible numbers to imagine, much less to reduce to human scale. The songs on A Lifetime Isn’t Long Enough insist that we recognize the inherent humanity of the women producing the music. Most of them had never played instruments before recording the songs; they were presented with an opportunity to choose an instrument, make some music with it and attempt to sing their way through their traumatic memories. The results are mesmerizingly unpolished, authentic responses to a moment, and to a nearly unthinkable willingness to uncover, feel and sing their pain. 

Because of the untrained, improvisatory nature of the performances, listeners should not seek conventional musicality. And some of the most harrowingly effective songs on A Lifetime Isn’t Enough move inward, toward highly idiosyncratic forms that respond only to the needs of the performer. “They Took Me from My Parents” leaves language and syntax entirely behind; the 35-second track comprises patterns of wordless humming, bathed in enough echo to sound like several voices loosely joined in lament. “Tolling Bells” abandons voice and consists of small bells tinkling and something that sounds like metal cannisters being dragged across concrete. Some horrors, it seems, cannot be articulated in words, but still need to be expressed. 

The record was recorded by a team of documentarians, Ian Brennan and Marilena Umuhoza Delli, who have previously worked with refugees and survivors in Rwanda, South Sudan, Romania and elsewhere. It should be noted that proceeds generated by A Lifetime Isn’t Enough will be directed back to the performers—the War Women themselves. As a musical experience, little else sounds like the songs made by War Women of Kosovo. Given the music’s origins, that’s likely a good thing. But as an experience that attests to the tenacity and nerve of human consciousness, A Lifetime Isn’t Enough is simultaneously moving and deeply ambivalent. That discomfiting mix is suggested in the record’s title. One can hear strength there: the registration of an undefeated desire to live. One can also hear the trace of a terrible resignation, that even a long, long lifetime is insufficient to overcome suffering of this magnitude.  

Jonathan Shaw

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