Heritage Space IV

“The Maidens’ Shrine” / Short film / Arbërore Lola Sylaj

Jul 30 - 2020

“The Maidens’ Shrine” short film by Arbërore Lola Sylaj part of the fourth edition of Heritage Space.

Fables tell of fairies that appear from the forest to protect, by attacking anyone who acts with ill intent. The resemblance of such a story with The Maidens’ Shrine is uncanny, as the maidens today are said to protect people from harm. The video “The Maidens’ Shrine” shows multiple similarities with various Albanian myths and rituals. The video takes inspiration from interviews with the Bejtullahu family in Gjakova, who have been caring for the shrine, as well as articles that narrate the story of the shrine.

“The Maidens’ Shrine” is a story about six girls, sisters, who died fighting austro-hungarian soldiers, and whose graves were turned into a shrine roughly 400 years ago. The video is an eight-month process of the project “Albanian Mythologies and Demonologies” which began in the midst of 2019, by coming across a dictionary “Albanian mythologies and demonologies” by Azem Qazimi and Robert Elsie’s Albanian Folktales and Legends, portrayals that opened a world of fairies, cats, snakes, protection, and luck.

Drawing from them, a research exercise began along a theoretical framework on the relations between myths and rituals. In order to grasp how social phenomena unfolds through myths, as “myths differ from other kinds of signifiers. For one thing, they are never arbitrary. They always contain some kind of analogy which motivates them. In contrast to ideas of false consciousness, myths don’t hide anything.” (Robinson:2011)

The Maidens’ Shrine is a video that showcases an interaction between past and present, on the actions and sayings that linger on through time.

Part of the screening was also a discussion on Albanian mythology and demonology – with Donjetë Murati (Researcher).

This project has been realized as part of the #HeritageSpace platform which is implemented by CHwB Kosovo. This activity is part of the “Inter-Community Dialogue through inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation” project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Kosovo) and financed by the European Union Kosovo Instrument for Peace and Stability (IcSP / EU) and the Swedish Government.

Project News


Archiving Discontinuities   Scattered documents, closed doors and institutional amnesia call for a questioning of archival practices and lack thereof. Archives are structures of collective memory and historical continuity. The role of institutions is to actively collect, preserve and make the archival records accessible for the public. How then do we deal with the absence […]

Dec 03 - 2021


Heritage Space offers space for creative people to use cultural heritage as a source of inspiration to develop new products using various cultural mediums and disciplines. This year’s edition will showcase projects which intertwine cultural heritage with: Storytelling & Interpretation Arts & Crafts Digital Heritage The project is implemented by CHwB Kosovo. The project activity […]

Aug 29 - 2019

Meet the Mentors of the fourth edition of Heritage Space

Four mentors will offer mentoring, consultation and their expertise during the implementation of projects in the fourth edition of Heritage Space. Storytelling & Interpretation Veton Nurkollari – DOKUFEST Artistic Director Erëmirë Krasniqi – Executive Director at Oral History Kosovo Arts & Crafts Sali Shohi – Executive Director at CHwB Kosovo Digital Heritage Leart Zogiani – […]

May 23 - 2019