100 years later, do we have more or less support for art and culture?

How many Albanian musicians use to work in the Cultural Institutions of North Macedonia?

 Macedonia has a new generation of highly skilled Albanian musicians, but they are always in the shadows because of the bad politics and maybe in silence approved by its own politicians!

Sihana has been invited to the Opera and Ballet Orchestra in the position of 2nd and 4-th horn player. Since then, this position at the 4th level,although she was interested, this place was never free, but kept closed and hermetic, perhaps for non accepting members of the Albanian community in this Institution?! In January 2019 a competition was opened for this vacancy, and the Opera Theater did not inform Sihana as a regular member that has been giving contribution since 2012. Sihana was informed informally and instantly by people who did not work there. She still could manage to prepare in time both from the juridical point of compilation of documents, but also on the artistic side displaying a highly professional artistic level. We may raise the following questions: -Are these only the Macedonian community institutions or they belong to all the citizens of the Republic? -How is the representation of Albanians in these institutions? -How are the cultural institutions reacting to this unacceptable situation that directly affects them directly in their identity? – What about the long-term policies of the Ministry of Education to increase the presence of the Albanian community? Sihana Jakupi, is the first and only Albanian horn player  who tried hard to enter the Macedonian Cultural Institutions.

She showed great enthusiasm at high school “Ilija Nikolovski Lluj” – Skopje, with no admission to studying music for racial reasons. It was the year when Albanians expressed great interest and the number of Albanian students present at this school was more than 20. The former Director rejected the initiative of the Albanian teachers and parents for opening the Albanian parallel and so the protests began. Sihana was enrolled for one year at the Zef Lush Marku High School but her wish for music never stopped. She returned to the passion for music and with the help of her Professor Slobodan Kosturski, she achieved to study music even though under a high pressure. She then continued her studies at the Faculty of Music in Skopje where she had successes in competitions at home and abroad, or many activities in orchestras of young people, being present also in various seminars that helped her perform better. 

She says, “I want to speak and show my dissatisfaction through my history, on behalf of all Albanian instrumentalists who did not dare to talk but silenced and stayed in stood in shadows and so nothing changed all of these years. We have to break the ice and we should be part of these Cultural Institutions where we can give the Albanians the pride and identity of the MK.

All the reforms that have been made for the rights of Albanians so far practically have been idle since nothing is going on concretely. The Albanians of Macedonia have invested in art for more than 100 years with the formation of the Skopje String Orchestra in 1912, supported by Kolë Bojaxhi, the father of “Mother Teresa”. Already over 100 years after, do we have more or less support for art and culture initiatives?!?


/Sihana Jakupi/

Horn player

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