A River of Bad Blood

Ethnic divisions persist in Kosovo after years of uneasy peace

Brendan Seibel
Feb 5, 2015 · 7 min read

In 1999 Albanian rebels burned down the home of Mashic Biserka south of the Ibar River. She moved north to live without water or electricity in a former school building. During the 2013 elections she refused to vote for the mayor’s party, and the promises of food and money if she did.


Twenty-four year old Sejda Xhemaijli works ten hour days, six days a week, for €200 a month. He feels fortunate to have a job in a city which has an estimated 60% unemployment rate.
Aleksander moved to North Mitrovica for university from Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Along with his family he is among the last 40 Serbs there, from a pre-war population of 40,000.
Agush was held and tortured by Serb forces for over a month. His health has never recovered from his imprisonment.
The Jahovic family live in a Roma neighborhood south of the Ibar River. As elsewhere in Europe, Roma are a maligned minority with little economic prospects. They survive on €100 monthly welfare payments and do not feel accepted by Albanians or Serbs.

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Brendan Seibel

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Perspectives on Visual Storytelling