5,000 dresses transform soccer stadium in Kosovo into a venue for addressing wartime rape

On the 16th anniversary of the end of The Kosovo War, a powerful project is bringing wartime sexual violence out of the shadows and into the open


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This week, the City Stadium in Prishtina, Kosovo, has undergone an incredible transformation. Some 5,000 dresses hang in neat rows over the stretch of turf typically dominated by male athletes — a powerful visual reminder of an aspect of The Kosovo War that is seldom recognized or discussed.

In the years of conflict between the Albanian separatist group Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, or Serbia and Montenegro), it is estimated that 20,000 Albanians, mostly women, were victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Serbian army, police, and paramilitaries.

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