Kosovo 1968 Demonstrations
Bregu i Diellit, Prishtinë
Show on map
Provenance and cultural activities
The 1968 demonstrations in Kosovo were initiated under the circumstances of the wave of student demonstrations which marked the 1960s worldwide, including Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). However student movements in Kosovo (1968) were also impacted by an already elevated level of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the overall social, political, economic, and cultural position of Albanians in comparison to others in SFRY. Albanian students, studying at the higher education institutions in Prishtina, then functioning under the umbrella of the University of Belgrade, founded the “Committee of Students” which later served as the main body for the organization of the 1968 student demonstrations. Some members of this Committee included: Osman Dumoshi from Prishtina (student, Technical Faculty), Adil Pireva from Podujeva (student, Philosophical Faculty), Selatin Novosella from Vushtrria (student, Albanian language and literature), and others. Students used public demonstrations as a method to achieve their goals. The main demands of demonstrators included: the creation of an Albanian language university in Prishtina, establishing Albanian as an official language of government in Kosovo, self-determination for Kosovo and Albanian areas in Macedonia and Montenegro, and giving Kosovo the status of a republic within SFRY with its own Constitution.
Student movements in Kosovo were not characterized as only socially motivated. Due to the demands for “self-determination as well as a Republic,” the nationalist character of the 1968 student demonstrations was noted by most of the authors that wrote about this topic as well as by the organizers of the 1968 student movements. These student reactions were the first political resistance actions of Albanians in Kosovo during socialism. And they are considered as important also due to the fact that after these demonstrations the SFRY Constitution will be amended in 1968 and 1971 to allow more local control in the autonomous province of Kosovo, further more the University of Prishtina was founded in November 1969.
The materials are kept in the Archives of Kosovo. These materials are spread in different fonds, whereas the main ones include: "Arkivi i Prishtinës, fodni Komiteti krahinor i lidhjes së komunistëve të Kosovës" (Archive of Prishtina, fond Central Committee of the Kosovo’s Communist League), years: 1968, 1969 and "Arkivi i Prishtinës, fondi gazata ‘Rilindja’" (Archive of Prishtina, fond Newspaper ‘Rilindja’), years: 1968, 1969.
The up-mentioned fonds contain items that the Central Committee of the Kosovo’s Communist League and Newspaper ‘Rilindja’, handed over to the archive in December 1988 and 1989. Public institutions hand over their documents to the Kosovo Archives every twenty years. Thus, the collection was, until then, in the possession of Central Committee of the Kosovo’s Communist League and of the Newspaper ‘Rilindja’.
Description of content
Rilindja’s fond contains primarily newspaper articles and interviews of political and academic authorities who condemned the demonstrations, whereas the largest part of the Central Committee to the League of Communists of Kosovo’s fond consists of notes, documents, minutes of meetings, and officials’ reports that document visits to various locations and municipalities within Kosovo.
The archival materials at the Archives of the Republic of Kosovo are not systematically arranged, either thematically or chronologically. Though this hampers research, the collection can still be accessed by scanning the boxes, one at a time. Some boxes, however, may not possess any materials relevant to the 1968 student demonstrations in Kosovo.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 10-99
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Show on map
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Ceku Ethem (2009) Demostratat e vitit 1968 në Arkivin e Kosovës [Ceku Ethem (2009) Demonstrations of 1968 at the Archive of Kosovo], published by Brezi '81, 'Dugagjini' Pejë
Berisha Sheradin (2008) Demostratat shqiptare të vitit 1968 në Kosovë [Berisha Sheradin (2008) Albanian Demonstrations of 1968 in Kosovo], published at: http://www.pashtriku.org/index.php?kat=60&shkrimi=5913
Author(s) of this page
- Hetemi, Atdhe
Panxha, Ruxhdi, interview by Hetemi, Atdhe, November 29, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection