The Rave Scene of Kosovo: Hapësira

Written on 07.06.2019 by Andrijan Apostoloski Bushi

We have one of Hapësira’s founders Uran Badivuku answer some questions for us about Boiler Room, reaching from 50kg to 500kg donation food on their events and more in-depth information about one of the biggest rave nurturing organizations in Kosovo.

Can you tell more more about Hapesira in general? How and when did it start, who is a part of it, and the general attachments with it?
First let me correct you by editing the e to ë (Hapësira, meaning space in english), which reflects the importance of the word.

Everything started back in 2015 by a group of individuals who often consider themselves part of a small family of shared values. While the number of our members remains small, the impact of their ideas and values have arguably exceeded those of a large corporation. More than any other organization up to date in Kosovo, Hapesira prides itself in drawing members who share a similar ethos to ours, rather than trying to maximize what often can be regarded as work output for the sake of work output. This is mainly where our success is rooted, a shared institution of norms and values which seeks to instill the same approach to our audience and Kosovo as a whole.

So far we have been able to create 2 concepts under Hapësira’s umbrella:
Rilindja Warehouse by now has become a household name in the domestic scene, while also catching the eye of many internationals. Without getting too specific we can sum up the ‘Warehouse’ initiative as a collective push toward promoting industrial spaces within our capital of Pristina, which through time have lost their primary functions (the printing house of Rilindja for example). On the other hand, Visions of Beyond (VoB) can be considered as a more innovative and often risky approach to the music scene in Kosovo. In this case, Hapesira tries to maximize the impact music has on people, to try and instill cultural values through the promotion of Cultural Heritage localities. While music remains at the centre of bridging the gap between the people and our often alienated Cultural Heritage, Hapesira has also made efforts to extend on our approach through VoB. That is one which aims to also give back to localities through investing in infrastructure and other innovative approaches to drawing more domestic and international attention to the historical development of our culture.

Do you think that the rave scene in general was at its birth when you started, and how did people react from your raves/events?
First of all let me remind that we are a youth who have faced a bloody war. So we can’t exactly say that Rave started with us four years ago when Hapësira was created, but that the history of the electronic scene in Kosovo dates back to the end of the war during 1999 where the freedom gained with great difficulty enabled us to enjoy life with little that we had. On the other hand with the creation of Hapësira, we can say that a standard towards the scene was set which transcended beyond boundaries, meaning that our organization has dedicated itself to the global scene, namely to the Raving scene that responds well in the country in which we live, and the social situation in which we actually find ourselves. So Hapësira in a way exists as a revolting sign to the existing system within Kosovo, and today every international artist who performs at our events remains mouth-opened ? towards the enthusiasm displayed by our audience, an enthusiasm that has to do with the spiritual conditions of young people who, at any cost want to demolish the existing prejudice barriers of the Western world towards our state and its people.

Photo by Anyla Ademaj

I’ve seen the Social Responsibility Fund as a part of Hapësira’s events, from when did you start this and what’s the general idea behind it? Do you think other promoters and organizations should follow as well, if needed in their community?
The social responsibility fund initiative along with bigger crowds have bloomed, from 50kg goods collected back in 2016 at our 1st edition of Visions of Beyond, now it has gone up to 500kg per event. This also brings a totally different spirit to the party itself, as people are not coming only to have fun for themselves, but they also lift the mood and enrich the tables of the families in need, all this makes the events more cheerful.
For the moment SRF is active only during our events, but basically as we establish ourselves permanently, it will eventually continue to live on a weekly basis. When it comes if other organizations or promoters should follow this, I think that it shouldn’t be narrowed to that as all human beings are equal in this world, and all should remember that we can make this world a better place by sharing, because at the end you will take nothing with you when you leave this life.

Of course, it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored that lately you’ve put a huge mark to Kosovo with the first Boiler Room event there.
Can you tell us more about this, when did the idea start, and a glimpse of the process of realization behind the doors? Also, of course, how did it go, what are your impressions of it?

I mean Boiler Room is just a result of our 4 year hard-work with pure dedication and with no material expectations at all. At the end we never started throwing events with purpose that one day we may reach to a higher position in which world-known institutions of the scene such as Boiler Room would visit and promote Kosovo. Moreover, it isn’t Boiler Room that has pinned us on the map of the global electronic scene, since we already have a 4 year CV behind of us with more than 45+ International acts appeared, and each one of them as stated in the above answered question have felt this tremendous energy in Kosovo, who have shared their experiences back to their managements, colleagues, promoters etc. So with all this in mind, it was Boiler Room that has reached us for a possible show in Kosovo, which in one way or another has made us proud, because the planted input in the beginning with manny struggles has now given a healthy fruit. However, of course that we can count Boiler Room as a stamp towards our quality over quantity.

Beside bringing crucial acts to the techno and rave scene in general, how is Hapësira connected with the local acts and local culture?
Hapësira as an organization aims directly the new generation. From its creation, we have witnessed the rise of many young artists, from dj to producer, from visual artists to new organizational initiatives of the profile we represent. Kosovo has always strived to have it’s alternative community be accepted on what they represent, and we are more than proud to say that today this stands for our audience. The best example of seeing the connection is checking the names of all the participants over the years that have taken place in our events, in which 80% I’d say belong to the up and coming generations of Kosovo. Of course this doesn’t mean that we don’t involve the veterans of the scene to the game, as their merits towards the scene are undoubtful.

What is the general story behind Rilindja? What is the government planning to do with it, and what are your plans on the other hand?
Most immediate plan is to keep Rilindja and turn it into a Cultural Alternative Center, so it can serve the community. In order to make it happen we have very uncertain path ahead of us, due to plans of the Government as you mentioned, more specifically the Privatization Agency of Kosova, which is looking to establish themselves into Rilindja and turn it into their offices, and are going to do so by selling all the assets (printing machines for scrap) but also intervening into structures of the building, which is one of few Modernist Architectures left in Prishtina.
Our plan B is Rilindja Warehouse, and our plan C is again Rilindja Warehouse… This is not about the location, but it is about our community understanding that if we come and fight together, no force will be able stopping us of moving forward with our ethos.
Once we settle ourselves in a home, we will definitely expand our activities in various events, not only entertainment but infotainment as well.

Photography by Anyla Ademaj.

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ℹ️ We will be back with gonzo reviews as soon as we return to a new normal that is acceptable for the people. Until then, let's listen to some music, what do you think?