Bijat collective design queer party kosovo
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April 5, 2022
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Inside Kosovo’s queer nightlife: the Bijat Collective

The two sisters Tadi and Matale are slowly changing Kosovo’s nightlife by providing support to women wanting to DJ and organizing incredible open queer parties in Prishtinë,

Founded in 2019, the Bijat collective is a feminist organization that aims to create a platform for girls and women that want to DJ. The collective emerged from the Prishtinë Is Burning parties series, which started in 2018. Started by two sisters, Tadi and Matale, the collective makes djing more accessible and queer culture open to everyone.  

Despite its recent birth, Kosovo already has a long history of underground clubs. But it has been male-dominated and techno-heavy, two things Tadi and Matale wanted to change for good. They started by organizing queer parties, that were the first open ones in the country. Prishtinë Is Burning has been taking place in various venues in the capital, with drag queens and performances. Dedicated to queer culture and its music, the events incorporate ballroom music to early 2000s Kosovan pop, seamlessly mixed by Matale. The flyers are designed by Tadi, who is a graphic designer and music producer. Together they expanded their project by founding the Bijat Collective.

Meaning the female side of one family, Bijat is a feminist collective that creates a platform for women wanting to be DJs or producers. Aware that parity is not nearly enough, they have been providing deejaying gear and a space for people to learn. Matale invites people to their house to practice and teaches everyone for free. Kosovo is a poor country, and access to DJ equipment is hard. This limits the diversity of people having access to this medium, which Bijat collective is trying to correct at its own scale. It also creates a sense of community with a support system.

Despite their lack of funding, they have been able to organize parties accessible to everybody. They even had to take a loan to rent one of the oldest venues of the city, a theater in the center, achieving a symbolic milestone. Tadi is working on a zine to document the queer parties, through pictures, illustrations, poems, and texts. The collective hopes to expand and for electronic music to be considered part of the culture. As Kosovo is still under strict covid regulations, they have been limited and their project, but had time to plan more wonderful projects soon!

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