Rome Burns

Rome Burns 15 of October

That is the graffiti in one of the destroyed streets in this Saturday’s “indignati” demonstration. It ended in violence against the police, city security, and last but not least the pacifist organizers of the manifestation, in tune with the world wide movements OCCUPY.

The graffiti sounds like some epic motto of ancient Rome when power struggles burned palaces, libraries, and streets. More

The Invisible Idiot

I have had the email address for eleven years. I first opened it when I started touring with my book, “Diary of a Political Idiot.”
It was useful to me to have a Yahoo! account — actually, I had two of them — because my email address in Serbia, mermaids@eunet.yu, was undependable and often could not be reached at all. My friend Stephanie Damoff opened the account for me in New York.
The old geographical political scheme of the former Yugoslavia was often simply not recognized by Internet service providers. Serbia, as the country of the aggressors, was commonly unrecognized, an outlaw state simply not in the databases. For instance, I could not enter the US Library of Congress because my national ID was invisible to librarians. Submitting visas at airports was commonly troublesome, not because the visa was wrong because my country was simply absent from the airport computers. More

Berlusconi e Scorpioni

Francesco Lubinu:
1. Chi è Jasmina Tesanovic?
Sono una donna che ogni tanto scrive. È stato così per tutta la vita, non ho fatto altro che scrivere, oltre che vivere la mia vita. Annotare come in un diario il flusso del tempo e del nostro stare nella storia. Per di più sono una donna che ha due teste, una che agisce senza pensare e l’altra che pensa dopo aver agito. Da qui il mio cosiddetto coraggio, di cui a volte non so rispondere adeguatamente. Il tratto più ovvio nella mia personalità, che noto perfino io, è la “ghiandola dell’ingiustizia”. Mia madre diceva che da quando ero molto piccola non c’era modo di trattare con me se non con delle spiegazioni sul cosa sia giusto e perché. Per il resto ero una bambina normale e questo tratto nella mia generazione si chiamava testardaggine. More

Come un’oca nella nebbia

Come un’oca nella nebbia. Storia ed evoluzione di un’idiota tecnologica

REFF: Autori, copyright, distribuzione: ci racconti la storia del tuo famoso “Diario”?

Diary of a political idiot [1] è il titolo del mio libro, quello più tradotto, quello che è stato distribuito senza il mio nome. Io sono online dagli anni ’90, da quando sono iniziate le guerre in Serbia. In quel momento non capivo le cose che succedevano intorno a me, né perché succedessero. Così mi sono data quel nome, idiota politica, usando un espediente retorico: nella Grecia antica, idiota non significa mentecatto o stupido. More

Today The Gay Pride Parade in Belgrade

This is what happened in 2001

Why Gays Got Attacked
in Belgrade
An Eyewitness Account

JULY 5, 2001. Jasmina Tesanovic, the writer, filmmaker and co-founder of 94, Serbia’s first women’s publishing house, was on hand at Belgrade’s Square of the Republic last Saturday June 30 to support her country’s first public Gay and Lesbian Pride. This is what she saw.

It was supposed to be a celebration, the first public demonstration of the gay and lesbian movement on their international day of pride, to be held in the main Square of the Republic, site of all the important events in our democratic history. The only thing we feared was bad weather. More

La Clandestina

These days I often think of my girlfriend N who has lived in Italy for more than a year now. She left on a tourist visa from Serbia, a divorced mother without a penny or a home, and over-stayed her visa. She found a job as the caretaker of an old man, somewhere in Northern Italy.

She wrote to us: she is not exactly happy, but feels more secure about her children, who stay with her parents, now that she is a breadwinner for them all. She has no legal residency papers and she feels bad about that, but then. another 60 000 people living and working in Italy are in her same position. As a weirdly democratic country, all legal citizens and even illegal residents of Italy have free healthcare.

Well, only a few days ago, the Berlusconi government approved a new law, which makes the status of the clandestines not only illegal, but criminal. The president of the republic and the democratic opposition were firmly against it, but the government, which has the majority, passed it. Furthermore, the new law legalized the so-called ronde, meaning a good old fascist tradition where groups of vigilante citizens cruise the towns and catch illegals with their own hands. The ronde is happening these days all over Italy, it is scary and primitive. You never know in those hysterical rage attacks against the foreigners — mostly black ones — if the voice of reason will speak before it’s too late.

In Torino, an African street vender was beaten and robbed by three guys: he went to the police to denounce the violence, and was arrested for being illegal. He now faces a 5000-euro fine and deportation. That’s the new penalty for i clandestini visible in the streets.

Caretakers of the old who still have some time for legalizing their position, if their employer want to go through with it. Not big news that most employers don’t do this, because that means tax money for the state.

I think of my Serbian friend N and her personal history: she went through a war ordeal, mostly as a victim of international sanctions, then she suffered a violent husband, and now she is a clandestine immigrant exposed to vigilantes. She had to deliberately choose to survive: she was always brave enough to look ahead.

What can N do in this situation in Italy, where her labor is welcome but she has no rights? It’s entirely similar to the legal treatment of prostitution, which is legally prohibited, but when it comes to tax payment for sex work, the system closes one eye and collects the money.

Sometimes, trangression makes the invisible global population visible to national law. I remember a refugee during the Bosnian war whose personal documents were burned. She was imprisoned in Hungary as stateless. When she paid the Hungarian state for her prison stay, she received new documents that made her legal.

Italy is supposed to be a free country in peace, now sliding into the dangerous absurdities typical of wartime and martial law. The Globalization of Balkanization is on every street-corner, illegally selling shoes.

G8 Done in l’Aquila

Incredible hours we are living these days in Europe, in Italy: the G8 meeting in an earthquake site in L’Aquila, violent hailstorms paralyzing traffic in Milan, a Michael Jackson memorial in front of the Gothic church Il Duomo. Nothing seems too weird, as if different worlds have accumulated in these moments of economic, cultural and climatic collapse.

With the big slogan designed on the ground: YES WE CAMP, the G8 meeting in L’Aquila had started: judged by the Guardian and New York Times as rather dubious, since it was organized by the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlsusconi. Lately, Berlusconi has been covering the front pages of international press because of his lascivious partying with call girls and underage girls. All of a sudden, he is hosting this rather politically unpopular G8 meeting of the world superpowers. Nowadays the aging G8 promoted to be the G14, Including ambitious candidates for a globalized world such as Brazil, India, Mexico. More

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