Pristina railway station, on Tirana Boulevard, was constructed in 1936 by a French/British company. The railway serves several cities in Kosovo, with an international line to Shkup (Skopje). The station’s recent history is linked with the 1999 war, when tens of thousands of Kosovo Albanians were deported to North Macedonia. This sad story is countered by the yearly travel between Prishtina and Peja, part of cultural events.
I am told that the railway, sitting underneath Arberi neighborhood, is a single-track, laid to standard gauge, with a loop at the station allowing trains to pass, as well as a second, parallel loop, out of commission since 2016. For me the area is drab, flanked by a car-wash, parked trucks and labour for hire.
Driving home one day I noticed a flurry of activity throughout the length of the concrete barriers. People, music, excited commotion, a single carriage with people coming and going – something exciting was happening. The drab concrete had been transformed into a canvas. In a matter of days, the wall exploded with colours and images and the place transformed into an open exhibition space for graffiti artists. Everything you see is wonderful, until you see Beavis and Butthead! That image was brilliance itself. It was a flashback to my youth, the ’90s, MTV, and a lot more. Funny how your youth can catch up with you in the most unexpected places.
For an outdoor, free-of-charge art gallery, this is the place to visit. Just be mindful of the occasional passing train.