Reviving the ancient art of filigree

January 15, 2020

The documentary: English    Albanian    Serbian    Turkish

The delicate art of filigree developed gradually and became popular in the Balkans during the Ottoman times, especially in the 15th century. By the 18th century, it was flourishing and kept developing to this day. It is an art deeply embedded in the identity and heritage of Kosovo and although there have been famous craftspeople in other towns across Kosovo, Prizren remains the main centre of a filigree craft.

UNDP, in cooperation with “Ec me Ndryshe” and through its EU-funded ‘Inter-community Dialogue through Inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation’ project, implemented  filigree craft knowledge and skills activities for women and youth through educational and capacity development programme. Moreover, the activity also embarked on documenting and promoting filigree craft as an intangible cultural heritage asset on the brink of extinction thus developing a strategic management documents which aims to transform the Filigran enterprise in Prizren into a sustainable entity.

The project not only expanded the knowledge of the craft to larger public but have created stronger bonds between diverse communities of the Prizren region. This activity also contributed to a transfer of filigree craft knowledge and skills to 30 youth and women of different nationalities. Five trainees had been additionally trained in mastering the filigree skills during a 6-month  internship programme.

To bring the filigree skills closer to general public, a documentary, titled “FILIGREE - Craft of the future” was produced. It does not only present the work done but also captures centuries long history of craftsmanship reviving the ancient art of filigree, silver making jewelry and ornaments. Through this documentary film you can enjoy the legacy of the craft presented by famous Prizren artisans who made a lasting statement on Kosovo’s cultural heritage.

Watch an RTK programme “AKTUAL” featuring the filigree work and documentary.

Read the Exposure story from UNDP RBEC on the filigree craft.

Ec Ma Ndryshe CSO

Ec Ma Ndryshe focuses on heritage, urban planning, cultural policies, public space management, and alike, which in general remain under-addressed in Kosovo. They have earned positive reputation due to their commitment to protect and promote Historic Centre of Prizren since they have implemented several programmes that, through tourism, kindled developmental potential of Prizren area. For this project, EC Ma Ndryshe signed a partnership agreement with Filigran Enterprise from Prizren, which was the project beneficiary.

The project is part of the “Inter-Community Dialogue through Inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation" project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo and financed by the EU Instrument for Peace and Stability (IcSP / EU). The project extends its gratitude to the Prizren municipality for its contribution to the project thus recognizing the importance of this ancient mastery and taking important steps in preserving it for the future generation.