La Vita e’ Bella

NATO bombings in Serbia/Kosovo
The Diary published by Granta

La vita e’ bella

Even though I wrote this years ago, even though I am not a futurist or a pessimist, I did not expect this kind of development of events: after all this time, after such an experience, history does not, unfortunately, walk with big steps as Zoran Djindjic, our killed president, hoped…

On 24 March, 1999, NATO begin air strikes on Yugoslavia.

26 March 1999, 5.p.m.

I hope we all survive this war, the bombs: the Serbs , the Albanians, the bad and the good guys, those who took up the arms, those who deserted, refugees going around the Kosovo woods and Belgrade’s refugees going around the streets with their children in arms, looking for non existing shelters, when the alarm for bombing sets off. I hope that NATO pilots don’t leave behind wives and children whom I saw crying on CNN as their husbands were taking off for military targets in Serbia. I hope we all survive but not this world as it is. I hope we manage to break it down: call it democracy call it dictatorship. When USA congressman estimates 20 000 civilian deaths as a low price for the peace in Kosovo, or president Clinton says he wants a non harassing Europe for American schoolgirls, or Serbian president Milutinovic says that we will fight to the very last drop of our blood, I always have a feeling they are talking about my blood, not theirs.

And they all become not only my enemies, but beasts, werewolves, switching from economic policy and democratic human rights to amounts of blood necessary for it (as fuel). Today is the second aftermath day: I went to the green and black market in my neighborhood, it has livened up again, adapted to new conditions, new necessities: no bread from the state, but a lot of grain on the market, no information from the official TV, so small talk among frightened population of who is winning. Teenagers are betting on the corners: whose planes have been shot down, ours or theirs, who lies best, who hides best victims, who exposes best victories, or again victims. As if it were a football game of equals. More

Reasons to Stay Together

Mas Publico

In 2011, Roberto Benigni, the Oscar winning Italian comedian, took the stage of the San Remo musical festival while riding a live horse.

Benigni then gave a majestic speech about the Unity of Italy, during the year of Italy’s 150th anniversary. At that time, Silvio Berlusconi was in power and many of his party members and other right wingers were loud supporters of secessionism.

The ideal of the Italian Northern League was, and is, to free northern Italy from the poverty and corruption of the nation’s South. This notion made more sense before the Northern League was itself was found corrupt, and when Northern Italy still had some money.

Benigni’s voice trembled with emotion while he sang the anthem “Fratelli d’Italia,” admonishing the audience of millions that a martyred young poet wrote that song, and gave his own life for the unity of Italy. How could the poet’s countrymen undo that deed and confound the nation’s martyrs on a whim?

That phrase made tears come to my own eyes. I remembered my dying mother who told me with passion: You cannot give away Kosovo just because you are a dissident against Milosevic. Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, you didn’t fight for it, like we did, and your grandparents too! More

Political Idiot in Sao Paolo

first frame Diary of a Political Idiot (portuguese, english)



São Paulo

Encontro sobre mídia ativismo, com Jasmina Tesanovic, documentarista, ativista política, autora de Diary of a Political Idiot (Kossovo, 1999).
DIA 29/11
17h30 More

Serbia and United Europe

in English, in italiano
It was a historic day for Serbia, October 25, 2010, when the European Union accepted the candidacy of the Serbian pro-European government. Years will pass before Serbia becomes an official member of the EU, and yet, from today onward, life will radically change for us Serbian citizens.

Already, a year ago, when the Schengen visas were first abolished, the Serbian situation transformed. Serbs were treated better at the European borders, in European banks, even in daily encounters with minor officials such as ticket-checkers on metros. After two decades of sanctions, isolation and legalized crime, Serbia is at the doors of the Union, the fortress of western democracy. Europe is a political structure with human rights, a functional legal system, relative monetary stability, and an abhorrence of racism and war crimes. In short, an empire with civilized standards, which the new Serbia has tried, with great difficulties, to implement in recent years. One step forward, two backwards.

Zoran Djindjic successfully deposed Milosevic, the butcher of the Balkans, but Djindjic himself was assassinated in 2003. After this grievous loss, another Serbian nationalism emerged. It no longer clung to the dusty Communist rhetoric of Milosevic, but rushed for the doors of the newly-fundamentalist Serbian Orthodox church. Church officials had been deeply involved in the war crimes of the Bosnians Serbs during the ethnic cleansing. A transition from totalitarianism to fundamentalism was not a difficult step.

Srebrenica Anniversary: The Design of Crime

Today is the 15th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia, where more than 8000 Muslim male civilians were killed and their bodies buried in mass graves scattered all over the region. Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia at the time of the killing, died in the Hague in 2006, before any verdict was reached in his trial. The UN Dutch troops present in the enclave of Srebrenica at the time, in order to protect the civilians, did not face any charges for failing in their duty. Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader responsible of  designing this crime  is currently on trial in The Hague, at the International War Crime Tribunal. General Ratko Mladic, whose troops carried out the massacre under his orders, is still at large.

In the year 2007, Serbia proper was found guilty of failing to prevent the genocide, but not for actually committing it. Many of the large number of people and troops involved in liquidating the Srebrenica prisoners never appeared before any court.  Others received very mild sentences for smaller misdeeds, such as the six members of the paramilitary troops “Scorpions.” More

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