Excellent crowd of
young inspiring people.
at the American School of Kosova
Auditorium // MAP
This year, the speakers for TEDxPrishtina all follow a similar trend: each creates a new idea by connecting two seemingly unrelated concepts. Nurhan Qehaja is no different.
An artist and a vegetarian, Nurhan is passionate about exploring how these combine to create personal identity and a better relationship with our roots and with the earth. Food, as well as art, enables Nurhan to grapple with questions of how we heal ourselves, what our relationship with food is, and how food leads to self-expression. When I asked her to elaborate on this connection, she explained: “As a visual artist I have always been interested in how our bodies function within time and space and I have tried to explore this through different mediums, whether that be photography, video, or performance. I consider making food as another medium in discovering oneself and understanding our body.”
But it doesn’t stop there; one’s relationship with their body correlates with a relationship to the earth, something Nurhan is continually exploring. “I want to address questions about our relationship with our earth. It’s an invitation to look into one’s relationship with their own body and determine their relationship with the earth, and explore what our bodies want from us in order to heal.”
For Nurhan, the same search for our roots and relationship with the earth should also be applied to country, especially in Kosovo. “What is it that has disconnected us from our roots,” she asked me. “When have we forgotten who we are as a people, and why have we stopped exploring our own land?”
So does the realization of the idea of Kosovo require that its people get back in touch with themselves, their roots, and their land? Nurhan believes the answer is yes. “Kosovo has been ‘under construction’ since the end of the war and it continues to be that way, I am not sure it always takes the right direction given the fact that a lot of our land is neglected and a lot of our own natural resources have not been explored. People have lost touch with who they are and their relationship with this place and I believe that the solution to a lot of our problems will come if we stop neglecting our earth and start to take care of it and maybe shift the idea of safety from our four walls to the actual land and what it has to provide for us.”
Nurhan is looking forward to TEDxPrishtina as a platform to address how Kosovo and its people can create a strong future that is in touch with their roots and with themselves. “I believe it is something that needs to be addressed in Kosovo.”