The glass façade of Kosovo’s parliament building is no stranger to the impact of rocks. A tall wedge of grey and blue, the building stands in the center of downtown Prishtina, Kosovo’s largest city and capital. The square it inhabits is usually a peaceful space, filled with strolling couples, street musicians and men selling neon plastic pinwheels to passersby. Yet, in recent months, clashes between protesters and riot police have also gripped the downtown, once again pulling the country into the international spotlight.
The weather app on my phone isn’t working, though maybe working incorrectly is the best way to put it. By most indications, everything is perfectly normal; backgrounded by a slowly shifting vista of blue-grey clouds, a rounded, minimalistic font reads cloudy and fifty-one degrees. But, if the raindrop impacts on my window are any indication, its prediction is incorrect.
An abandoned school lies among the neighborhoods dotting the outskirts of Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital city. Forgotten by some and removed from the public eye, the school is unimposing, yet instantly recognizable. Jutting out amongst the winding alleyways, the building’s unmistakeable silhouette rises above the surrounding homes. The home is now abandoned, its fire-blackened walls crumbling into the hallways. There are few indications that it used to be a place of learning; looking from the outside, it appeared to simply be a burned-out shell of a building. Yet the piles of desks and faded chalkboards at the head of several rooms made the building’s former purpose clear.