Actor Tafa – cultural ambassador of Kosovo in former Yugoslavian countries

7 March 2022

Ilir Tafa promoted Kosovo in the countries of former Yugoslavia during its first years after the declaration of independence, a time when politics could not do that. This is stated in a study published this week by Vilnius University Press of Lithuania.

According to this study indexed in Scopus, Kosovo, after the declaration of independence, had a very difficult time to promote itself to foreign audiences. Kosovo’s promotion was left to the successes of talented artists and athletes.

This study also states that communication between Kosovar actors, especially with the public in the region of the former Yugoslavia, has been difficult in the first five years after the declaration of independence. But during those difficult times, Ilir Tafa, an actor from Prishtina, practiced cultural diplomacy with countries with which Kosovo had no official communication, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

“In the Bosnian series “Lud, zbunjen, normalan”, Tafa interprets the character of a young man from Kosovo. Through the character of Mentor Kosova, Tafa communicated with the public of the countries of former Yugoslavia, as this series was broadcast on the Federal Television of Bosnia, Nova TV of Croatia, A1 Television and Channel 5 of Northern Macedonia, on the Public Television of Serbia RTS, and in Montenegro on RTV News. In several episodes, Tafa’s character speaks Albanian, discusses Kosovar music, and the degree of tolerance that the Kosovar-Albanian society has towards certain peoples, such as homosexuals, etc.”, says the study titled “Cultural Diplomacy of Kosovo after the Declaration of Independence”.

Tafa’s communication with the public in the Balkans, according to the study, is very important, because, since the 1990s, Kosovo’s communication of value with Serbs and Bosnians has been cut off. As one of the most cited scholars of public diplomacy in the world, Mark Lenonard states, “public and cultural diplomacy should focus on countries that are most difficult and important to a country’s interests and not those that are easiest to influence.”

According to this study, conveying the promotional messages of successful artists, actors and athletes of Kosovo in the world, such as Rita Ora, Ilir Tafa, Arta Dobroshi, Majlinda Kelmendi, etc., is very important in increasing the international image of the country, since they are recognized as public and cultural ambassadors of a country.