The Living Monument | KARROTA

U rritëm bashkë me klientët, të cilëve vazhdojmë t'u japim dashuri me punën më kreative nga zyrat në Prishtinë dhe Tiranë, së shpejti edhe në Londër.

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NEWBORN

U rritëm bashkë me klientët, të cilëve vazhdojmë t'u japim dashuri me punën më kreative nga zyrat në Prishtinë dhe Tiranë, së shpejti edhe në Londër.

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The Living Monument

Created for NEWBORN with Love | 2021

NEWBORN is the Monument of the Declaration of Independence of Kosova. It was unveiled on 17 February 2008, and has been repainted differently every year, continuously giving it a new meaning. Each year’s theme contains a message from Kosova to the world, portraying its participation and contribution in global events.

Ever since, NEWBORN has become the signature landmark of Prishtina, the capital city of Kosova, making it the most visited and photographed monument in the region.

It is considered a live tourist attraction, a work of art as well as a national monument, putting it among the very few of its kind in the world.

For the original NEWBORN monument story, see:
Larger Than Life


NEWBORN 15

NO NEW B(roken) R(epublic)

Every year, without exception, NEWBORN has delivered a strong message, every year marking the development of Kosovo in its road towards becoming a country that each Kosovan dreams of.

Every year, without exception, NEWBORN has delivered a strong message, every year marking the development of Kosovo in its road towards becoming a country that each Kosovan dreams of.

This year’s theme is no different. In fact, it is provocative, perhaps, more than other times, but as always it is current with the situation in which our people and our country are, and it is yet another significant crossroad towards the statehood of Kosovo.


NEWBORN 14

2022 – Winged Women

NEWBORN this year stood as a constant reminder of perseverance, strength, and grit. This year, Newborn addresses the maltreatment of women, through the defining lens of honesty, yet positivity, support, and empowerment, while also commemorating the vast successes of our women in different fields.

A global issue at that, the maltreatment of women while at the forefront of the fight for gender Equality; continues to turn into a schism, with every passing conversation.

The front of NEWBORN is painted with pictures of women of all different races, ages, forms, and affiliations, continuing to further our message of being one, yet while embracing our stark differences. The W however, is painted in white wings, a soaring message of spirit, strength and the faith to be in charge of your body and destiny. The faces of the women on both sides of the wings, will be looking toward the wings, a message of freedom.

The back of NEWBORN, is painted black, in commemoration of the pain that women go through, with the wings being on the back serving as a continuous reminder of the journey to be
set free. Wings on both sides will serve as a photography spot.
NEWBORN will continue to push for the recognition of women, and their experiences, as positive, or violating they might be, as showcased by our work of the year 2019, and as such we strongly believe this year will be a step in the right direction to stir up a conversation on valuing
women beyond their experiences.


NEWBORN 13

2021 – WE BROUGHT PEACE TOGETHER

At a time when our dignity and struggle for freedom are being violated as never before, it is the last moment for all of us to come together and show the world that we all participated in bringing peace, with a lot of sacrifice.

It was the war that changed everything and made it possible for us to live free today. We once paid dearly for it, so today we consider it sacred

This year we all came together again, to show the world, as in the day when independence was declared, when we all left our signature on the monument, that we are unanimous in supporting the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives for us to live in peace.

We invited the citizens to paint their palms with one of the colors of the army and place it on the monument as a sign of respect, love and support for our war, so the NEWBORN Monument has the appearance of an army uniform, created by the hands of the citizens themselves.


NEWBORN 12
2020 – Never Ending Wars

Dedicated to all the victims of sexual abuse during conflicts around the world.

Today, as conflicts rage in different places, their mostly female victims are continuously being abused sexually, or suffering the post-conflict prejudice and difficulties being accepted in the society.

Visually, 2020’s NEWBORN is painted mostly in black, representing the devastation and the void every war leaves behind. The letter W is covered with hope and freedom, representing the fragile, yet resilient character of every victim, surviving and overcoming their struggles together, while reaching out beyond the W (War, Women, World).

The burst of positivity and hope stretches to the neighbouring letters E and B, spreading across other letters, representing the slow, yet inevitable fact that goodness will prevail.

Each of the black letters contains short, touching stories or sentences that have been gathered from the victims of abuse during the 1999 war in Kosovo, in both English and Albanian. These extracts have been published previously, depicting their horrid accounts and graphic recollections. Our aim was to make people aware of the horrific experiences these victims were forced to go through.

Verbally, NEWBORN becomes an acronym (or rather an acrostic poem), where each letter is the beginning of a word, completing a sentence, written on both sides of the monument.

Never
Ending
Wars
Bring
Oppression,
Rape and
Neglect


NEWBORN 11
2019 – Preserving Earth

Air pollution has been an ongoing issue in Kosova for decades now, and hardly anything is done about it. Prishtina often tops the list of the most polluted cities in the world, but no action is being taken to eradicate the problem caused by the coal power plant nearby and the abundance of cars.

The 2019 NEWBORN was dedicated to the environment, since the global warming has been an ongoing issue worldwide and Kosova remains part of the problem, desperately seeking a solution.

We used doodles, a unique and trendy illustration style, to draw elements differently in every letter, with the help of many young graffiti artists and volunteers that took part in the process.

Each letter represented an element crucial to preserve nature. Hence both letters N in the beginning and the end of the monument represented Nature itself, creating an outer circle of life.

E for Energy and R for Recycling made another circle representing human inventions, whereas W for Water and O for Oxygen created the inner circle as the two essential elements for life, leaving the B for Biodiversity in the middle of these three circles, representing life itself.

Each letter had a written explanation of its meaning at the back of the monument.


NEW10RN
2018 – The Decade

Prior to celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of Independence, NEWBORN was temporarily removed for maintenance, a few days before 17 February 2018.

Layers of paint throughout the years were removed and corroded areas were treated, ready for the new look.

Letter B was replaced with number 1, forming number 10, when placed next to the letter O. Then, number 10 was painted gold and the rest of the letters were painted silver, giving the monument a glamorous look for the 10th Independence Anniversary.


NEWBORN 9
2017 – Breaking the Walls Down

Years 2016 and 2017 marked some global and domestic events that, instead of bringing people together, suggested that walls should be built, keeping them apart.

In response to all the walls of this kind in the world, and the recent wall being built in Mitrovica, NEWBORN’s message was innovative, creative, clear and to the point.

While the major part of the structure, painted as a wall, stood erect, letters N and W were brought down, laying horizontally.

When looked at from a normal perspective, _E_BORN represented a broken wall, calling for the end of segregation all over the world.

This enabled us to write NO WALLS on the floor, using the laying letters N and W, thus conveying the message when seen from the top.


NEWBORN 8
2016 – Isolation

Contrary to the previous years’ designs, expressing gratitude to the world for helping Kosova declare independence, the 2016 NEWBORN expressed its discontent towards the world for not opening up to the new country.

Despite continuous efforts to build a respectable state, Kosovars were still kept isolated from the rest of the world. The barbed wire preventing the people to reach for the sky was a call to the world, urging it to find a solution.


NEWBORN 7
2015 – Express Yourself

Remembering the very first NEWBORN, where people expressed their thoughts by writing on it with permanent markers, 2015 edition went further with the idea.

Everyone, children and adults alike, were invited to write, draw and express themselves in NEWBORN.

Paint was provided and for two straight days for hundreds of people, who created the most chaotic and amazing artwork, that would last only for a few hours, until someone else modified it.


NEWBORN 6
2014 – Remembrance

Year 2014 marked the 15 years of freedom, following the war of 1999. To commemorate that, NEWBORN got dressed up in camouflage.

Each of the letters were painted with a different pattern, worn by a different NATO army, to express the gratitude for the sacrifice of these brave men and women who helped liberate Kosova.

Most importantly, the entire monument was a tribute to Kosova Liberation Army (UÇK), the ground force during the war, in remembrance to the heroes who gave their lives, and the living for their contribution to the country and its people.


NEWBORN 5
2013 – Recognition

Although NEWBORN was supposed to be painted every year, it took five years for it to change its look for the first time, in 2013. This was due to the negligence by the government to formulate a clear plan and devise a process of the maintenance of the monument.

As a result, the citizens took the matter into their own hands, to execute the initial idea of painting the flags of all the countries that recognized Kosova’s independence.

The response was massive. Thousands of people loved the idea when presented on social media, and many offered themselves to help with the painting, tools and funding for this project.

It took over 100 volunteers to complete this task within 24 hours, working overnight to finish painting the flags on time for the dawn of 17 February 2013, celebrating 5 years of independence.

Thousands of people who went out in the streets of Prishtina to celebrate the Kosova’s 5th Independence Anniversary visited the NEWBORN Monument, announcing, once again, that this was the highlight of the festivities.

Media worldwide about Kosova’s 5 years of independence:

BBC World
Republic of Kosovo prepares for anniversary

BBC
Kosovo marks fifth year of independence from Serbia

Yahoo! News
Kosovo celebrates 5 years of independence

Gazeta Shqip
Kosova pesë vjet pavarësi, NEWBORN të ri-ngjyroset sërish nga qytetarët

Prishtina Press
Painting of Newborn Monument and Celebrating Kosova’s Independence


Read NEWBORN Wikipedia article

See NEWBORN Facebook page

Visit NEWBORN on Instagram

Related project: Larger Than Life