Kosovo New Born (2007)

32 images Created 7 Aug 2007

"After eight years of intense and intrusive international presence in Kosovo, a peace keeping effort to follow a brutal ethnic conflict between Serbians and Kosovar Albanians, the question of a "Final Status" is on the tongues of all in the region. At the crossroads between east and west, Serbia and Kosovo have been divided, conquered and ruled for hundreds of years; and today is no exception. Though the Albanians are waiting patiently for some semblance of independence and autonomy, all but promised by the Americans following the war, their future is ironically solely in the hands of the international elite, and more specifically, the remaining Cold War superpowers Russia and the United States. No matter their feelings, Serbs and Albanians on the ground are at the whim of the winds of highest-level international diplomacy. Where Kosovo might be looked at as a model of success for International Peacekeeping by some, many others on the ground see it for what it is: a stifling bureaucracy forced upon a region rife with problems of its own. Electricity production and water don't meet demand, infrastructure still is undergoing reconstruction and poverty abounds. Kosovo and Serbia are moving rapidly toward a European future, but on cars and rails of another's construction.
Photographer Matt Lutton recently spent a month in Kosovo investigating how people are living today, mere years after the war and continually surrounded by ethnic tension and occasional violence. Where UN troops patrol the streets with tanks and heavily armed snipers and troops are normal sights on every street corner in some villages, Lutton discovered people looking eagerly to their future but fully aware of the immense challenges they must overcome first: from the international bureaucracy to neighborhood reprisals and, ultimately, the specter of producing a sustainable economy."

Copyright Matt Lutton, 2007. Not Published.
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