David Cale

Woman from Kosova

The woman from Kosova who lives in London sat across from me at the Greenwich Village Coffee Shop. We had met the day before at an event about the war in Kosova. As I had handed her my business card so she could call and set the time of a coffee date to hear more of her story, she had looked down at my name, back up at me, down again and said "I look to see if you are Serbian, to see if you would maybe try to kill me."

We met the next afternoon, she brought an Albanian friend who is active in the women's organizations that have played such a critical rational role before, during and since the war.

Looking at her photographs of haystacks and farmers in Kosova, I asked her if agriculture was in her family's background. "Oh yes" she replied softly, "for hundreds of years we have been bee-keepers. My grandfather still is. Just last month, when the time came and he was forced to leave, my grandfather knew that they would burn his home, so he took his poems and hid them in the beehives, thinking that maybe they wouldn't destroy the beehives. And perhaps they are still there, will be there, if he can ever go home...waiting amongst the bees, being covered in honey."

Rita, 23 years old, Albanian

Kosova Email. May 18, 1999

"Just before I left I lost a friend. She was shot dead by a Serb guy in the middle of the street. Not a military guy. Just a crazy guy. Two other friends were killed two months ago on the bus while they were returning to their villages. The police took them to the station and executed them because their cousin was a well-known political activist. They executed four more of the man's male relatives. These were close friends of mine, but so many more Kosovars have been killed. It became a land of spirits."

Email sent to Clinton, Blair, Albright and the rest of NATO member-leaders

From: the workers at a Yugo car factory in Kragujevac

"We are the citizens of Kragujevac, a city that paid most dearly for its freedom in the last war - in the blood of its children, all beastly executed in a single day, and of its workers and citizens...Our very existence and that of our families is now brought into question. We want to protect what has remained of our future, and therefore we, the workers of this factory and our management, have taken the decision not to leave our factory workshops and go to the shelters -- even at the sound of air raid sirens...Dear Sirs, In this way we wish to inform your public that an attack on our factories located in latitude 44=BA N and in longitude 20/55=BA E, and employing 38,000 men shall mean the direct death of several thousand men who will be present in the factories all the time while the war operations against our countries go on and will mean an enormous loss to their families." (NATO did bomb part of the factory complex, killing 150 men.)


All over Belgrade the morning after NATO bombed Milosevic's residence

"Milosevic, why were you not home when we needed you?"

Jadranka Andjelic, co-founder of DAH Teatar in Belgrade

Why she chose to perform even in the midst of war.

"What can theater do? What can art do? It can give through the presence of the actor on the stage the example of the spiritual being, conscious being; it can give the energy of life which is manifested in the dancing, singing body of an actor, which can overcome the fear. It can answer the need of the people to understand the moment they live, to meet the fear, anger, pain and suffering."