CFAP Leslie Hossack

Damaged Building West of Pristina, Kosovo

Medium: Pigment ink on gloss Baryta
Dimensions: 91.5 x 137 cm
Date: 2013

Pristina is the capital of Kosovo. This damaged building is one tragic result of the 1998-1999 Kosovo War. During this conflict, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with air support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), sought independence from the forces of the former Yugoslavia. Canada participated as a member of NATO. Nearly 15 years after the war’s end, the Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) made it possible for photographer Leslie Hossack to visit Kosovo. Hossack is interested in memory. Her series, The Kosovo Photographs, documents how the Kosovo War is memorialized in the built environment. In images such as this, her goal is to ensure that nothing detracts from the presence of this ruined building. Largely destroyed and noticeably isolated in the surrounding landscape, it survives as a witness to the defiant violence in Kosovo’s past.



National Martyr's Memorial in Marina, Skenderaj, Kosovo

Medium: Pigment ink on gloss Baryta
Dimensions: 91.5 x 137
Date: 2013

During her Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) deployment to Kosovo, Leslie Hossack photographed many conflict-damaged buildings and war memorials. In 2013, 15 years after the Kosovo War began in 1998, she documented how Kosovo’s post-war built environment bears witness to past violence. Skenderaj, 30 kilometres northwest of Pristina, is where, in 2004, the National Martyrs’ Memorial bearing the names of 2,184 ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) war dead was constructed. In this 2013 photograph, its landscaping is crumbling. With its dying shrubs, uncut grass, and weed-infested paths, it neglects the dead. Perhaps it does so intentionally. A year after Hossack’s visit, in July 2014, the European Union Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) announced that some of the KLA’s former senior officials committed crimes against humanity and war crimes following the end of the Kosovo War in 1999.