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Monday, May 20, 2024

25th Anniversary of NATO Peacekeeping Intervention in Kosovo Marked at Elgin Library

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An exhibition marking 25 years since NATO peacekeeping force, KFOR, entered Kosovo is running in the gallery at Elgin Library from 8-24 May 2024.

The ‘KFOR and Kosovo +25’ photodocumentary exhibit gives special access to photographer Nick Sidle’s archive from his time attached to the operation’s early stages.

Nick was embedded with several units and produced a unique record of the work of the peacekeepers showing troops from nine different countries including nineteen individual regiments or units from the United Kingdom and the United States, the two largest contributors to KFOR.

The exhibition is being brought to Moray by Heartstone, a non-profit organisation based in Highland which produces stories through art, literature, performances, events and more.

Visitors to the exhibition will learn about the circumstances that led to KFOR being deployed following a UN Security Council resolution and witness not just the military presence but also a snapshot in time of life in Kosovo in 2000-2001.

The installation follows a presentation of the photodocumentary in the Scottish Parliament and ahead of the reworked exhibition being presented in Kosovo and London later in the year.

Moray Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Peter Bloomfield, has led the campaign to bring the exhibition to Moray and has personal experience of the intervention in Kosovo:

“In my role as an Air Traffic Controller at RAF Bruggen in Germany I was instrumental in making sure our aircraft departed and arrived back safely whilst the NATO night time bombing campaign was taking place.

“My affinity with Kosovo has stayed with me ever since and I think marking the 25th anniversary of the NATO intervention is a fitting way to pay tribute to all those who were involved in the military and civilian side of the campaign.

“I’m delighted Heartstone is bringing this installation to Moray and I encourage as many people as possible to come and see for themselves the incredibly insightful work of Nick Sidle.”

Sitakumari, Director of Heartstone, added:

“This was a powerful photodocumentary when it was first produced and remains so now, 25 years later. Its messages are even more relevant today.

“This is about the human story of living in a conflict zone, the work of peacekeepers and the hope and resilience that can be found in the most difficult circumstances.

“It will inspire everyone who sees it.”

Heartstone is working with the assistance of UNA Scotland, Interfaith Scotland, veterans organisations PoppyScotland, Legion Scotland and Officers Association and Edinburgh Interfaith Women’s Group on this project.

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