Women may not rule the balkans, but they hold some powerful positions
Women in power is not what would first cross one’s mind in association with the Balkans – a traditional society where most important functions are still held by men. But change, albeit slow, is taking place and there are some ambitious females in the region that command quite a bit of power. Two of them were included on Forbes’ 100 most powerful women list. At the Adriatic Journal we looked at who are the Balkan women that stand out in this male-dominated region.
Author: Ana Potočnik
3/11 - RITA ORA
From humble roots as a Kosovo refugee in London to being one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Rita Ora has come a long way. Rita Sahatçiu Ora rose to fame in 2012 when she featured in a single Hot Right Now by DJ Fresh – the single reached number one in the United Kingdom. Her debut album Ora was released in August 2012 and debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart. The accolades followed. Ora was nominated for Best New Artist, Push Artist and Best UK/Ireland Act at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards.
After a string of UK hits in 2014 and early 2015, Ora wanted to be released from her contract with the Roc Nation and ended up filing a lawsuit against the label. Roc Nation filed a counter-lawsuit against Ora for breaking her recording contract, but the two sides reached a settlement in May 2016. Later that year she performed in a concert at the vigil for Mother Teresa’s canonisation at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, alongside other Albanian artists, accompanied by the Kosovo Philharmonic Orchestra.
2/11 - DUA LIPA
The London native Dua Lipa started her musical career by posting covers of her favourite songs on Youtube before hitting the big time. Dua Lipa, whose first name means love in Albanian, was born in London to Kosovo Albanian parents. She signed with Warner Music Group in 2015 and soon released her first single New Love. Ever since then she’s been a prominent chart topper. Her success was further confirmed by winning three Brit Awards and two Grammy Awards. But, like her fellow chart topper Rita Ora, Lipa hasn’t forgotten her roots. In 2016, she and her father set up the Sunny Hill Foundation in Prishtina to donate to the causes that will benefit the citizens of Kosovo. When the earthquake struck Albania in late 2019, Lipa appealed to her fans for support and donations to help the relief effort.
1/11 - MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ
Marina Abramović is a performance artist known for her use of pain and physical limits as a form of expression. Even after four decades in the “business”, she still continues to create new work, exploring the relationship between herself and her audience, and transforming both through her performances. Born in Belgrade in 1946, Abramović went on to study art both in her hometown and in Zagreb, developing an early interest in performance art, including experiments with sound installations. Her arguably most provocative work, however, is 1974’s Rhythm 0, a performance in the Italian city of Naples in which Abramović directed the audience: “There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired.”
If you leave it up to the audience, they can kill.
” The objects included razor blades, knives and a loaded gun, while the artist sat motionless as people cut open her clothes or slashed her skin. “If you leave it up to the audience, they can kill,” Abramović said after the performance of an inherent human cruelty that she sought to expose. In 2010, her popular retrospective The Artist is Present was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art. The work was inspired by her belief that stretching the length of a performance beyond expectations serves to alter our perception of time and foster a deeper engagement in the experience. Seated silently at a wooden table across from an empty chair, she waited as people took turns sitting in the chair and locking eyes with her. Over the course of nearly three months, for eight hours a day, she met the gaze of 1,000 strangers, many of whom were moved to tears.