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Here and there worlds’, unfortunately domestic public too, still follow up on events about Karadzic arrest. As if the trial and its preparations were of no importance, while in fact they are the main thing, the reason for the capture, the reason for Karadzic’s transport to Holland… what is wrong with us?

Opportunism – to in one way or another be part of an event of global importance. An event, I said, not process. That’s the catch. Process is by its nature long, often painful, sometimes boring, gets stuk or obstructed every once in a while – especially processes of trials taking place in the Hague tribunal for war crimes in ex Yugoslavia. So uneasy to follow up, to watch, to be interested, when there is others – media – to filter events from the processes, like outstanding pieces of behaviour of the prosecuted, full of shameless words, insults and challenges (as if Seselj’s or other prosecuted challenges are to be met!). Yes, media work of some kind of filter, for people to choose attractions and avoid processes. That I find stupid, arrogant, superficial – opportunistic. That is the reason people over here are still in denial of their own country’s past! They are just lazy! But, hey, When Seselj starts a hunger strike, everybody gets interested! For it’s a piece of news, trivial event.

These lines I write because for two days I haven’t heard anyone in my surrounding mention another word about Karadzic. And my surrounding is mainly people voting democrats, LDP even more of them… I do not mingle much among the Radicals! Like our responsibility as citizens has ended there. No more to be done. Just the lament of Radicals remain, their threats and curses, sure. But for me, that doesn’t represent any potential of sane politics, just retrograde hardly human reacting. Again, I repeat, I do not intend to report on the news. I want to know what people I live among think, how they act, where their limits are. And this is one of the conclusions I come to: arrest is over, Karadzic in the Hague, end of story for democratic electoral body.

How sad! I live in a monster state. To be a bitch I am already called, I will add in the fact that during over 10 years of my political, peace, feminist activism, I have met more women activists trying to grab personal achievements, then making efforts to influence this scarade society and make it more civic, free, better! I have seen organizations filling in application forms for big Funds to fit into those Funds agendas, and not to meet the needs of our society! So this text applies to almost everyone around me, really to my society. We pull down the curtains when the performance is done. We care not a bit for becoming part of the proccesses, thus for learning more and making a difference. The difference that can only be achieved by participating, not only observing spectacular bits and pieces.

I said it before, we accept new trends set by events. How sick is that? Media can give us a trial proccess on a silver plate, we will ignore it, for it has no attractions, it is boring. So we stand in one place, waiting for foreign investments and better future in EU. While neither authorities, not citizens do the proper job to deserve that future. And guess what? If I speak out, I am kindly ask not to prejudge, to keep quite, because I might irritate others.

I am not meaning to say that we all have to watch every trial, but to be informed on historical facts once for good. To then act in our professional fields, so that those facts enter our reality on all levels. Instead of nurturing young generations born after wars, which have never seen an Albanian, but hate them all.

And I am not afraid of being attacked, I was many times, on many places and occasions. Only my victimization is none of anybody’s business, I in fact do not feel like a victim at all! I do not have a blog in Serbian because it wouldn’t make a difference. this way, I globaly look for people whi think more deeply over certain issues, and i stand better chances to find them. I am still a bad blogger, I know how to go and see pages of certain people who read me, but I still do not know how to put them on myy blog roll:) i am getting more literate, for now I ask Sarah to help me out with that. I believe that different points of stand that each person holds can give interesting interaction. So I blog in a global language:)

This is not a complaint. It is my observation, that does make me angry. This “mind your own business” never defined what my business is! And it has been said long ago that politics is to important to be left to — only (fill in the blank). As it has been said that personal is political. So I bring in nothing new. I only warry, and for a good reason. I say, I haven’t heard Karadzic’s name in two days from any of the citizens I met or talked on the phone to in this country. Curtains are down, until next spectacle, event, party, protest, or other outstanding attractions.

I shell go to my poetry now, and post the photos later.

I was thinking about why my blog is not in Serbian. And I know it. I would only provoke more attacks on me, and still change nothing. So I have my art. A good way to spread a message. Hard as it is, since I keep mainly self-producing, it remains my only chance to make any influence, to make one mind think things over… small steps, I am taking small steps. Just like I did in my active days in Women in Black, before they became a big brand with big, massive projects. Before my 100 deeds became less important then one single failure – like one thing i had no time nor strength to accomplish. Before even the civic sector became, in all its parts, an industry. I felt the idea is getting lost on the way, and stepped away.

what a lonely feeling!

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…Sitting in the office, alone, at night, after the shamefull rally that has just taken place in my city… I miss Sarah’s presence to discuss what/who (the hell) is crowling around Belgrade streets and what is its/their vision of future? “Who” refers to the Radicals and “what” to the flow of self-un-aware crowed, Radicals united into an ugly river that’s alive and canibal, considering human origins of it… So, I wonder, what is the furute they/it see(s)? Do they/does it have options of desired future and the one they/it fear(s)?

This cloud is a portal to a paralel universe, or radical paradise, in which all freedoms become one ultimate freedom, the freedom of Karadzic

This cloud is a portal to a paralel universe, or radical paradise, in which all freedoms become one ultimate freedom, the freedom of Karadzic

Events like this rally bring out the worst in me: I look at an other human, wondering how come he/she manages to talk, when I would call him/her “it” and expect “it” to bark.

-OBJECTION! -Sustained!

-OBJECTION! -Sustained!

I admit my schovinist thoughts, but on whom? On political opponents? About 99% of the people in my city are my political opponents, yet they do not provoke such bare and savage ideas in my head… only this canibal river does it, Radicals phisically joined together in public. Luckilly, I work on my own thoughts and deconstruct them, until I repeat for 10 times: “a human being that not only denies war crimes, but cheers to them, is a human being too”. How does it sound? Radically stupid, yet true.

I cannot bring myself to see the future with Radicals' eyes, this is as far as I keep getting...

I cannot bring myself to see the future with Radicals' eyes, this is as far as I keep getting...

And who is to help them all see? And where are the laws that will make them censor their mind before they speak it, spreading hatrage, (historic) lies, neonationalistic spirit, insults and threats to others? And why do times like these last days bring the image that there is “them” (in schovinist words “it”)/Radicals, and “us”/the rest? Another of my personal impressions: whenever there is one clearely defined category (of people) that makes a strong public appearance, by simply refering shortly to that category as “them”, it is suggested that there is also “us”. Now, this division doesn’t match my taste at all. Why would I allow “them” to put me into any category, especially “us” category, when “they” haven’t even been smart enough to premeditate it, they actually just have the instinct to attack when they feel threatened (an act rather close to life in wild nature, definitly distant to ways of acting in cultivated areas)? It reminds me of the united front against Milosevic in which “we” were all together, that kind of “us”. What a good desguise for all sort of frauds! How many of “them” can actually intrude among “us”? More precisely: how many of “us” belong to “them”, willingly or not? I don’t want to share any togetherness with people who believe that Karadzic should be convicted because only then we (including “them”) will stand a chance for better economic standard with all potential foreign investments! “Us” doesn’t exist. Not all of the people who stayed at home with the intention to avoid the rally are on the same side! There is more then nuances that devide us: some were “victims” of Milosevic regime and are “hostages” of war criminals, some do not care at all and believe that they are not political (what a luxuory, living in an agressor state!), some were thinking of going but they went to another party, some went to Church to pray for Karadzic and Mladic and light a candle for Milosevic (even though not 29th of February, this was an important day for Serb nation), and some were, may St. Sloba forgive me, plotting against their own Serbian tribe, by knowing facts about Serbian ellectoral will during the past 17 years, by following up events/spying, denouncing, betraying, like I do. And: Oh boy, do I get well payed for it, or what!(Curtosy of NATO)

After several hours of Radicals, this time streets looked clean. Same people, different outcome to February, after all...

After several hours of Radicals, this time streets looked clean. Same people, different outcome to February, after all...

One thing is sure: who ever stayed at home, had a good chance to watch one of the TV shows inspired by Karadzic’s identity game! As I was leaving my place, late at night, to come here where I can use the Internet, there was an outstanding piece on Studio B/public TV station of the city. The piece consisted of many proffesionals giving their expertize on forging identity, from looks and styling, then character and personality, to gaining fully new documents! On Karadzic example, they practically revealed a recepy how to do it, underlining every week point of security in our system of paper, documents, ID cards and passport production, also of ways of issueing them! Is that analytic journalism (wich vanishes when it comes to researching corruption, organized crime, financial backgrounds of major political parties, ties and bonds between polititians and mob etc.) or is that just opportunistic and radically stupid? Karadzic has become a trend setter – many are getting into alternative medicine, many consider changing their looks radically (stupid or not), many are intreegued by doctor’s mind able to so easily adopt a new self, so they are wondering if they could do it too (romantic, ah?). Karadzic is also setting trends in journalism: new identity, or a double – no more, no less, to get more audience attention.

The roumor says that Ratko Mladic became a construction worker, in Vracar, Belgrade...

The roumor says that Ratko Mladic became a construction worker, in Vracar, Belgrade...

Who is this?

Who is this?

It surely is all about trends and sell aways. Karadzic arrest has created a Karadzic brand. It is so simple. Even I have met more then one person, here, in my country, who have more names or change them as often as socks (I’m not telling the secret how often we change socks in our Serb cultural heritage and customs, nor weather we have accepted changing socks as a higyenical necessity). ID story is not exclusive at all, in itself. What’s exclusive is that Radovan Karaszic did it. So it’s in, it’s a sell, sold product. That is why the show I explained, the piece on Studio B, was possible: it reveals no big secret, no news to potential paper forgery, because those who want that business have actually had it for years! What remains is to cash the products of Karadzic brand: alternative medicine, documentary and fiction production of ID stories in all media, new (hairy and more hairy) looks, myth about a doctor who wrote books (this one was just to rhyme, although Radovan wrote several plays), maybe prices of real estate in my neighbourhood go up again (they have already reached mythical – radically stupid – sizes!) because, hey, if the quater was good enough for Radovan… while nothing is changing, while Radicals are so arogantly and ignorantly making everybody else “the rest”/”us”/the most suspicious category with many holding more identities then one…

Detail of one nice house in the now famous part of town...

Detail of one nice house in the now famous part of town...

And how about the freequent fals alarms? During the past year, more and more often different institutions/buildings/objects are falsely being alarmed with annonimous calls (lack of identity is more dangerous then double) announcing that there is a bomb set to explode. I haven’t seen one serious TV show on that issue – noone bothered to investigate and research on who and why is making such calls. Until the first bomb explodes.

boom!

boom!

Photos by: Jelena Markovic

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B92 has reported on a new ancient cult of the new ancient serbian orthodox king saint, Sveti Sloba. This new ancient cult obviously grabed my attention. In the following text, you will find a brief description and analysis of this phenomenon. This text has been written in four hands, by myself and my friend Sarah Franco.

Slava:

29th February. Only on 29th February. Not 1st of March, not 28th february, only 29th february, because Sveti Sloba is really special, so he should be celebrated only once in four years. He is, indeed, one in four! A real serb (ok, his parents were Montenegrians, so what? That only brings success).

Nowadays widely popular, the Slava of Sveti Sloba was at first adopted by sick hearted people, who proved themselves audiciously courageous, introducing a fresh practice into the rigid Serbian Orthodox Church, thus contributing with one more saint to the happening of the saints (dogadjenje svetaca).

Despite focusing mostly on Middle Ages Saints, the Serbian Orthodox Church has been benefiting from the recognition of new saints, thus renewing itself. The proclamation of Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic as a Serb Orthodox Saint set the trend for the happening of the Saints. However, the cult of Sveti Sloba has a deeper meaning, by reneweing with the Midlle Age tradition of king-sains, such as Sava or Lazar, to whose cult Sveti Sloba so much contributed during his reign.

Many theologist believe that among the Serb orthodox flock there is a whole line of candidates waiting for sainthood, people who have been devoting their lives to the higher causes. By the way people like Vojislav Kostunica, Radovan Karadzic, Vojislav Seselj, not to mention Vuk Draskovic, contributed to the cause of Heavenly Serbia, they will most likely qualifie for the position. However, competition among candidates is fierce. Unfortunatelly for them, the fact that Sloba got to meet the Creator first does not enhance their prospects. The Church will not want to banalize sainthood, so only time will reveal who will be thus honored.

The ritual:

This newly made ancient tradition is marked by a very specific ritual, rooted in primordial days (more specifically, dating from 4 and half months ago).
On this Slava, pensioneers, students and unemployed people avidly search the garbage bins, hoping that sveti Sloba hasn’t forgot them. Serb families take care to assure that, on that day, there will be a bite or two of sacred hleb in their garbage. To make this game more exciting, the families usually hide it under old cabbage leaves. This game, known as uncabbaging hleb (otkupusiti hleb), is a reminiscence of the time when Sveti Sloba was plundering leading the nation.

In the evening, after all hleb is uncabbaged, families gather in the streets around big garbage containers, which are set on fire. They then dance the kolo with their mouths full of rakija, and once the dancers pass near the opened side of the enflamed container, they spit their rakija into the flames, thus feeding the fire. When the spit provokes an outstanding high flame, the kolo (oro) shouts in one voice “Op-sa”. The one who did the spitting then proudly shouts back “Op-sa-sa”. Women are allowed to join the kolo, but cannot perform the spitting. Instead they cheer for outstanding high flames, by shouting, in high voices, “Iju-ijuju”, while marking the rhythm by twisting their bodies with their arms on their hips.

Anthropologists and other schollars consider the women’s role in this ritual as a prayer for fertility (molitva za plodnost). Women are thus making sure that the Saint will bless them with a new generation of children soldiers. New children soldiers are essential to carry on with the ancient waring tradition initiated by Saint Sloba.

The flames are at the core of this ritual. In the cold February nigh, they warm the sick hearts, and, most importantly, they come to symbolize the noble character of war making, as a reminder of the wisdom of Sveti Sloba, who once said “Niko ne sme da vas bije”.

Photos:

Woman kissing Milosevic grave: B92;

Sveti Sloba: Sarah Franco, Belgrade, July 2008.

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