It was initially published for the VASA film series In the Land of… showcases works of artists and filmmakers from the territory of former Yugoslavia who work in the field of so called artists’ moving image.
The documentary Blue Wall Red Door (2009) is a collaborative project of Alban Muja and Yll Citaku that provides an insight into the transitional society of Kosovo, the state that proclaimed and gained independence in 2008, ten years after the last amongst the bloody civil wars in former Yugoslavia. Their main interest is to investigate and showcase a very endemic phenomena of the capital city of Prishtina and its streets that were renamed for several times during the turbulent recent history. The artists explore the ways how its inhabitants navigate through often nameless or unmarked streets. They talk to different people, taxi drivers, postmen, firemen, and accidental passers-by, who reveal their relation with the city; most of them do not know their own home address and therefore they are compelled to find alternative ways when it comes to receiving postal items or calling a taxi. Instead of names of the streets the citizens of Prishtina use commonly known provisional names of important buildings, homes or popular places in order to get orientation.
So the filmmakers drive around with taxis and accompany post office workers in their struggle to find searched locations across the city. Even though people seem to be slightly cynical about the immense changes in the past decade they do not complain about the fact that very often their streets have no names. There is always a way around and they still find the places where they want to go. However, certain public services such as fire brigade, first aid or post seem to be struggling a lot more. Even the city official who claims that the streets of Prishtina are predominantly named and signposted admits that his home does not have an address because the entire district is under construction. One could see the film as a harsh criticism of the local government but also as the reflection of universal issues of post-socialist societies of the Europe’s southeast. Moreover, with a great sense of humour it reveals everyday particularities of Kosovo and its chaotic capital.
Miha Colner, 15. 4. 2016