10 Years After the Fall of Milosevic

Exactly ten years ago, after more than a decade  of wars and sanctions  Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian president  lost the elections and  was toppled by massive popular turnout in the streets on Belgrade, October 5th 2000.

from the movie The Day I decided to Stay by Predrag Bambic

link to the entire movie

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBambic

Election Letters ( A  Belgrade/ Baghdad Correspondance by Jasmina Tesanovic and Nuha al Radi edited by Stephanie Damoff)

in English, na srpskom

Thursday, October 5,2000

Dear Nuha, I am sitting at my computer, staring at five different satellite programs in four languages I can follow, I am listening to the local radio stations reporting live…and wondering at what time I should go out, where, why…I want it all, I want to see it all and I want it all to happen today…for good. The Constitutional court has declared the elections partially invalid, a phrase that means once again nothing as do all things Milosevic says, now more than ever. Nobody really pays attention, the Court has a deadline from the opposition of 3.p.m., but that is no longer decisive. People are massing from all over Serbia for a meeting in front of the Federal Parliament building at 3.p.m. My best friend came last night from the coal mines at Lazarevac. This morning she is very worried, the miners are making an appeal to people not to abandon them there because the police forces are gathering around them. Great energy as usual but also much confusion, it is impossible to stay together all the time and defend everything, but we have the absolute right to have it all. It is all ours and he has to go. I am beginning to hate that man, after ignoring him for so long: I cannot imagine anybody so obstinate, so rude, so violent…I begin to see him as a true monster and dictator, not as a puppet hunchback…I guess I am fed up and my patience is abandoning me after all the sacrifices we continue to make. My father went to the hospital this morning: the cab driver charged him five times the normal rate. When he refused to pay, the driver attacked him physically. I asked my father, why on earth do you have to go to the hospital on the day of a general strike. He says, because my health cannot wait, I am an old and sick man. But the fact is everybody else has put health, and hunger and life, on standby and not for one day, but for years now.

I just heard that students are sitting in at some of the universities in order to prevent the police entering. I am off to the streets now to find my safe place to sit, it is no longer at home.

I am back again from the streets, it was a huge crowd, all the streets around were full of people from all the villages of Serbia. I managed to get close to the Federal Parliament building, my father lives in the street behind, in what was once my home, too. But we couldn’t get to the door of the Parliament and enter it, the crowd was too tight and  suffocating. Then all of a sudden a group of people made their way through the crowd and entered the building; the police responded with gas, a lot of gas. My daughter phoned me, behind the Parliament building the police were firing gas and beating people. The peaceful part of that crowd, to which I belong, we people from downtown Belgrade who have voted for the opposition for ten years and yet could not get into power, started to move backwards, towards our homes/shelters. And here I am, my eyes red with tears. I hear that those angry people have entered the Parliament building, that they are breaking windows, that the police have run away, that our newly elected president will soon give a speech. The Parliament building is engulfed in smoke, police cars are burning and somebody saw a woman from a  very high window waving a flag: it reminded me of the fall of the Russian empire and the film of Eisenstein.

As to who is winning or who will win, I only know I am not winning. I have too many fears: Milosevic can use this occasion to declare a state of emergency and arrest us, dismember us…The only decent way to go on, after the official cancellation of the election is to ignore the old powers and make a parallel new government. Who cares about the Federal Parliament, let’s have a room of our own somewhere else and just do it. Peacefully.

I just heard that the parliament and the television buildings are burning, my daughter is watching it.

I am on line again: it seems Serbia is finally free. President Kostunica is speaking in front of the Federal Parliament building, all the media are liberated, people from the streets are wandering in and out of the studios while the broadcasts are in progress, in two simultaneous dramas. Military police are entering Belgrade, waving to the people, and nobody  knows the whereabouts of our former president. Let’s hope we forget him soon, but not his deeds.

I am watching one of the striking miners on official TV. I feel like I am in a dream, everybody is telling my stories, my nightmares, but with more reality and truth as if I was a visionary woman in war…No, I was just lucky enough to survive and see it all happen, we all did it together, we here, you there and we will not let anybody take it away from us.

Election Letters All

21 September 2000

Dear Nuha, Everybody from abroad is writing me, telling me that whatever we need… whatever happens… the usual overtures. It is not as tense here as I guess it is outside, something is building outside that we do not understand here. I saw the opposition candidate for the President yesterday, the one who could save us. He is educated, good-looking, non-communist and non-violent. But he promised he will take us back to the old Serbia of a century ago, that we will never forgive NATO for bombing us, nor will we give our current president to any tribunal. I know what he is doing, or think I know, I think he is trying to appeal to the other side, to Milosevic’s nationalist voters. But at a certain point it becomes too much for me. Then we saw a staged popular rally for Milosevic at which he appeared, was in good shape, a good mood, and was much more convincing than our candidate when it comes to appealing to the frightened, so-called common people. I had intense nightmares in which I argued with the candidates. The opposition takes me back to my grandparents and the ruling party back to my parents: there is actually no truly new option for modern life, for women, for free personal space… This is the end of the world in any case, and we few opposition voices are just like philosophers or anonymous people who wrote in opposition to Nero, or Caesar, whose minor voices were silenced and their very bones minced but whose books are nowadays read as chronicles. Hypatia, for example…Love J

Saturday,  September 23, 2000

Dear Nuha, Countdown, with rain, with chaos in the city. With people buying wine, pigs. The markets are busy as if a big feast is coming up, as if it is Christmas. Strange atmosphere. My father is back from the mountains, he didn’t say it, but I think he came to vote. Why? I doubt he is doing it for me. I am afraid that he is afraid of losing, that is more realistic. I must stop being optimistic and idealistic. Nobody votes for somebody else’s good, certainly not the communists, who just declare it. His best friend, a very nice guy of eighty, said honestly: well, my son is voting for this Kostunica from the opposition even though he is afraid of his tolerance towards other nations, because you see, we Serbs are not only nationalists but also racists. And you, whom do you vote for, I asked. He looked at me angrily and defiantly even though he is a very tender and quiet man. He said: I vote for what I always voted for; we must go on, people cannot change, should not change. It is not as easy for us as it is for you, after fifty years and after all the horrors we went through in World War Two. And tears came to his eyes. I was shocked and sorry for offending him. But I was also very disappointed: was it his senility speaking or my naiveté listening? The old men here will never change, maybe their women will, but they who once carried guns and who once won a war never will.

I met a girl from the Ukraine who came to Belgrade to finish her book on my literature and me for her Ph.D. I was amazed at somebody there publishing me and reading me and she was looking at me as to a God. Very embarrassing. I invited her to stay with me so she could see I was just an ordinary woman writing between cooking and cleaning.

Now I am going off to the Women’s Center. We are filming our women’s campaign. It is very successful, even though full of arrests and other police harassment. But people like us and our new style. My idea for new feminism is taking place in Serbia : we are passing it on to a young, beautiful and strong generation of girls who have had no bigger traumas than the last ten years of Milosevic. I identify with them strongly. I have even gotten thinner and I dress and look like one of them. Love J

Sunday – September 24, 2000

Dear Nuha, I am sitting at home and panicking, along with half of Belgrade, listening to the rare independent news we get here or there, or personal experiences or stories announcing some turn. Well, the latest is that in my municipal district the voting has been cancelled without any official explanation. We know the reason, we have voted 100% opposition for the past eight years. We hear alarming news from Montenegro regarding troop movements, we hear reports of personal threats and arrests, journalists expelled, and when I turn to foreign broadcasts they fuel my fears with superficial and catastrophic predictions. The rain is pouring, I am very low but very alert. My gypsy neighbor said she will not vote for anybody because nobody gives her anything except me, who buys her beer. She would vote for me, she said, and I would definitely vote for her. I am not joking, she is a very famous prostitute in our district who never owes anybody a dime.

Monday – September 25, 2000

My dear Nuha, Here I am again. I feel so easy, to do what? Carefree enough to leave everything and everybody, meaning my country and my people, and become invisible and a foreigner. It is not important anymore who will be declared the winner today, it is obvious that we won. It is clear that in these dark times, without media, with severe repression, with arrests and beatings, with the oppression of sanctions, people have voted for this unknown guy against all the lies and blackmail. Finally the world can see that what I have been saying all these years, that my people are not natural born killers or idiots any more than anybody else, is true. We didn’t sleep the whole night, we were on the streets meeting friends and strangers, exchanging information and emotions. This time wasn’t euphoric, however, the atmosphere was calm, cool and cautious. Not even much joy, somehow even when you win it is important that you have not already lost too much. This victory has come late, slowly, and not yet certainly, even though I am sure that this time there will be no mercy towards lies and cheats or even weapons. It seems that even the police have voted against Milosevic. When they saw that, the officials from the ruling party stopped counting those ballot boxes and the election commission dismissed the counters.  I am just watching the news and trying to make my mind work on something else, as if I am slowly coming back to real life. And of course, preparing for the worst. I am again in the visa machine: my God, how arrogant the Italians are with us. I could get through it by pulling some strings, but I hate to play the game of those who believe only in doing business that way. Coming back from the embassy, I was telling myself: I do hope your time, you omnipotent and arrogant visa clerks, is over along with Milosevic, whoever this new Other is. Love J

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Dear Nuha, Did I tell you I took my father to vote? I tried to be discreet but he said: I want you to see that I am voting for the opposition, for your candidate: for you…my time is over. But please, do not tell any of my friends, I do not know how they are voting but they may reject me for doing this and I will be left alone. Well, in his municipality all seats went to the opposition, which means that my father’s friends voted as he did.  But will they tell each other the truth? I think that is exactly  what is happening at this moment: people are taking the veils off their words and actions, while the people in power buy time with lies and intimidation in hope of reversing this process of self-consciousness. There are rumors that Milosevic has left the country, gone into exile. In fact, nobody from his party is speaking of the  presidential elections. The results from the opposition are clear:  victory on all levels, I do hope they do not give in to any pressure. They have only the people and public demonstrations as a possible weapon against fraud or state violence. Even though everything is still possible, for me it is all over: as I said, we won, we know it, we are strong and that is a fact that nobody can deny, whatever the course of the events.   Love J

Sunday – October 1, 2000

Dear Nuha, Is Babylon in Iraq? There is a celebration going on there today, I must watch it on the BBC, all of a sudden everything that has to do with Iraq has become my story too. I realize that I know nothing about it. This is actually my new discovery: that I do not know many obvious things, knowing instead many very marginal and rare things… My lack of a solid education, I guess: British schools are very narrow-minded and nationalist, at least they were so in my time.

I just came back from the market, from buying a lot of bread, potatoes, and spaghetti because tomorrow we are all going on strike.  What a bore, it is as if we are striking against ourselves but it seems there is nothing else to do. I have talked to many ordinary people: they are afraid to go on strike and lose their jobs. I understand this too well and I wonder what will happen. Will they become heroes and lose their jobs but push forward the wheel of history? Or maybe something else will happen. It is a hard and unjust decision for people who are already on brink of starvation. My other worry is how the strike will work, practically, Belgrade is a huge and not well-planned city, but people from the provinces, where the protests are much more energetic, said they will come on foot and help us organize…

This Milosevic man is a virtual monster; after the bombings last year I stopped thinking about him, his mind, his deeds and I started thinking about us… And now everybody is taking this tactic. As far as I am concerned, I have a new  president and if they do not make a new government soon, a parallel state, I will think that the opposition has stolen or betrayed my vote. I do not know how to explain what is going on: there is a big wave of change on all levels with Milosevic, who continues to behave as if it were 1945, as a point of stability. Yesterday, he staged a huge military parade, what a misery it was.

The official commission of elections has asked the opposition for personal immunity from criminal charges offering proof of election fraud, but our new president refused the deal; everybody says he is right in doing it. But I wonder, and some other women do, too, maybe it would be worthwhile to spare 6 people willing to give evidence of fraud as a plea bargain from prison in order to make the way shorter.  But, everyone says, that is only in American films, our law is different and it stands on principle, NO DEALS with thieves… Love J

Wednesday – October 4, 2000

My dear Nuha, I feel so egoistic writing all the time about us Serbs while I am watching on the BBC world news — and our common friend by now — your history happening, all the violence, demonstrations. Actually, the BBC, our objective colonial friend, puts you on ahead of us but with exactly the same pictures and phrases. It is a good news service, so good that Milosevic has even tried to interfere with their broadcast these days, but sometimes I cannot tell which of us is which when it comes to their globalized political stereotypes that do not bother to make differences. And here are we, the two of us, also not seeing a big difference. Pictures of violence have the best chance of getting on the BBC, and sometimes they show more violence than there really is. Sometimes they even predict violence and minimize all the good initiatives. Well, here we are, still in a general strike: tomorrow Serbs from outside Belgrade are coming to Belgrade to join us and rescue us from the grip of Milosevic. It will be D-day and you know if we do not make it this time, I feel we are done for another century. We do not have much hope or help from abroad or outside, nor do we want it. But it is not as in previous wars or during the bombings: then we just sat and waited, there was nothing to do. Now we have to act fast and we are literally fighting for our lives: we cannot go back because we will be completely repressed. Already they are arresting some leaders of the strikes. All around me, friends are coming out politically, at universities, jobs, papers, and they are people I have the most tender feeling for: the intellectual middle-class, impoverished, humiliated yet dignified. Those people have had just 80 DM per month and they are still brave…well, I guess the less you have to lose the braver you can be. Last night, in a group of friends, we spoke of our future. My friend, a university chemistry professor living on an occasional 80 DM said: I am against The Hague for Milosevic , the prison there is very comfortable. I would punish him and his family by simply giving him our average flat and our monthly salary for a few years… Love J

Wednesday, 4 Oct 2000, 17:17:32

Dear Nuha, I am back from the streets, from the police station where we went to protest when we heard that the police had entered the coal mines where the miners were striking. The people from the villages went in and made the police leave. Now people from Belgrade are organizing to join them, with our newly elected president who is already sitting in with the miners. I was so  lost amidst all those MOBILIZED people: I realized I had no car.  The women around me had no money, no free time, no cars, no buses, just babies to take care of, and meals…I stayed in the invisibility of those angry women: angry in their bad lives and angry being women in those bad lives. Only the free left to help out the miners and to feel as if they were useful and could help…

I guess my position as a woman writing is that of the invisible crowd. The new phenomenon in this peaceful revolution is groups of angry women who are taking initiative: women of all ages and classes, all furious.  Today, men were shouting at the police: if you do not let us in we will send in these angry women…And the women were screaming:  you men, we will castrate you, beat you, you are weaklings, who cares about any of you, Kostunica or you. We are doing all this because our children are hungry…shame on you men, policemen, politicians, you  made all this possible and we women will make you pay. I was ashamed for and of them yet I felt so much understanding and solidarity for these Medeas that I just stood up with them. I  am exactly like them only they are ahead of me, in good and in bad…love J

Thursday, October 5,2000

Dear Nuha, I am sitting at my computer, staring at five different satellite programs in four languages I can follow, I am listening to the local radio stations reporting live…and wondering at what time I should go out, where, why…I want it all, I want to see it all and I want it all to happen today…for good. The Constitutional court has declared the elections partially invalid, a phrase that means once again nothing as do all things Milosevic says, now more than ever. Nobody really pays attention, the Court has a deadline from the opposition of 3.p.m., but that is no longer decisive. People are massing from all over Serbia for a meeting in front of the Federal Parliament building at 3.p.m. My best friend came last night from the coal mines at Lazarevac. This morning she is very worried, the miners are making an appeal to people not to abandon them there because the police forces are gathering around them. Great energy as usual but also much confusion, it is impossible to stay together all the time and defend everything, but we have the absolute right to have it all. It is all ours and he has to go. I am beginning to hate that man, after ignoring him for so long: I cannot imagine anybody so obstinate, so rude, so violent…I begin to see him as a true monster and dictator, not as a puppet hunchback…I guess I am fed up and my patience is abandoning me after all the sacrifices we continue to make. My father went to the hospital this morning: the cab driver charged him five times the normal rate. When he refused to pay, the driver attacked him physically. I asked my father, why on earth do you have to go to the hospital on the day of a general strike. He says, because my health cannot wait, I am an old and sick man. But the fact is everybody else has put health, and hunger and life, on standby and not for one day, but for years now.

I just heard that students are sitting in at some of the universities in order to prevent the police entering. I am off to the streets now to find my safe place to sit, it is no longer at home.

I am back again from the streets, it was a huge crowd, all the streets around were full of people from all the villages of Serbia. I managed to get close to the Federal Parliament building, my father lives in the street behind, in what was once my home, too. But we couldn’t get to the door of the Parliament and enter it, the crowd was too tight and  suffocating. Then all of a sudden a group of people made their way through the crowd and entered the building; the police responded with gas, a lot of gas. My daughter phoned me, behind the Parliament building the police were firing gas and beating people. The peaceful part of that crowd, to which I belong, we people from downtown Belgrade who have voted for the opposition for ten years and yet could not get into power, started to move backwards, towards our homes/shelters. And here I am, my eyes red with tears. I hear that those angry people have entered the Parliament building, that they are breaking windows, that the police have run away, that our newly elected president will soon give a speech. The Parliament building is engulfed in smoke, police cars are burning and somebody saw a woman from a  very high window waving a flag: it reminded me of the fall of the Russian empire and the film of Eisenstein.

As to who is winning or who will win, I only know I am not winning. I have too many fears: Milosevic can use this occasion to declare a state of emergency and arrest us, dismember us…The only decent way to go on, after the official cancellation of the election is to ignore the old powers and make a parallel new government. Who cares about the Federal Parliament, let’s have a room of our own somewhere else and just do it. Peacefully.

I just heard that the parliament and the television buildings are burning, my daughter is watching it.

I am on line again: it seems Serbia is finally free. President Kostunica is speaking in front of the Federal Parliament building, all the media are liberated, people from the streets are wandering in and out of the studios while the broadcasts are in progress, in two simultaneous dramas. Military police are entering Belgrade, waving to the people, and nobody  knows the whereabouts of our former president. Let’s hope we forget him soon, but not his deeds.

I am watching one of the striking miners on official TV. I feel like I am in a dream, everybody is telling my stories, my nightmares, but with more reality and truth as if I was a visionary woman in war…No, I was just lucky enough to survive and see it all happen, we all did it together, we here, you there and we will not let anybody take it away from us.

October 6, 2000, 12.p.m.

I am on-line again, physically and psychologically. We have electricity, the phone lines are working, my e-mail box is full of messages with tears, congratulations, worries from friends, people I hardly know, even foes predicting dark times for us. We have no tears here, no tears of joy because we dare not relax. It was a long and tiring battle and the end is not yet in view: every piece of good news can turn into bad news in a blink. We have lost our political fears but last night we gained fear of and responsibility for our future. We live in a legal and material vacuum: we are just people in power, with no police to protect us from ourselves, from looting, no sanitation workers to clear the barricades, no bread after days of general strikes. My father, a former communist who probably voted for the opposition this time because I begged him to for my sake, phoned me this morning, saying: I heard all the city is destroyed, do you still have your car? He dares not open the door even to the mailman. I suspect he is in the same psychological bunker in which former President Milosevic is presumed to be. But somebody has to tell my father that they are not in the same position, that as a voter for that ruthless president he does not have to also bear responsibility for crimes for which he never voted. The foreign press is interviewing us, already pressing the uncomfortable point: who is guilty, who will be pardoned, is our new president a nationalist, do we feel safe, do we feel free?  The conquest of political freedom does not necessarily bring inner freedom with it; we need time, we need to get to work , we need proof.

It is a beautiful morning: sunny and clean. Yesterday morning was gloomy and dangerous and yet we made it through the night of the so-called peaceful revolution with only one girl dead, added to all the victims the  old regime produced. But my heart bleeds for her, it could have been me, it was me in a way, she was a Jasmina, too. I do not rejoice, not after being part of the stubborn crowds determined to win or die yesterday, not after crying tears of gas and dealing with my daughter’s asthma attack without medicine, not after the flames and smoke rose around my parents’ house behind the Parliament building. It all ended fast and well, I guess, but the beginning and the middle lasted too long, far too long. All this could have happened in 1991 after the first multiparty elections, without any revolution and it could have spared us five wars, ten years of nightmares and many thousands of innocent victims. I feel like a victim and a guilty actor of the ten years called the fall of Yugoslavia, or Milosevic. My daughter is the victim of and also the product of it, one of the so-called the Resistance kids. My parents are definitely of the guilty conscience party, while I am that middle weakling generation, which last night won the civil war ten years late and now has to pay for being late by working hard and pulling the cart all alone. We Serbs have to make it on our own now, being the last, if not the least. I never believed in ideologies or big words, not even big deeds. I always cherished the simple things of beauty and taste that give a person the joy of living. Will we have that, in Europe’s youngest democracy? Will the Balkans as a so-called Region disappear with President Milosevic? Will President Milosevic really disappear somewhere underground and let us forget him, as we pay off his debts? I am looking in bewilderment at my husband, at my children, at my things. For some reason everything seems different, as if seen in a new light. I recall that light very well, the light of normal life, but while living as a political idiot I forgot what living in the limelight of one’s personal life was like.

na srpskom

Izborna pisma

Dragi prijatelji, šaljem vam moja pisma Nuhi al Radi u vezi sa izborima, iz naše prepiske Bagdad/Beograd “Globalizacija zla”. Mnogi ljudi iz inostranstva me pitaju da objasnim neobjašnjivu situaciju ovde, posle udarne vesti od pre nekoliko minuta da je Koštunica pobedio Miloševića… bez obzira da li je već sve gotovo ili ne. Hvala na pažnji, vaša Jasmina

 

26. septembar 2000. 7,45 popodne

POBEDA!!! Zvanična televizija upravo je priznala da kandidat opozicije Vojislav Koštunica vodi ispred nekad nepobedivog Milosevića… Da li ćemo ga tako brzo zaboraviti?

Četvrtak, 21. septembar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Već su svi počeli iz inostranstva da mi pišu, govoreći mi što god da nam je potrebno… što god da se desi… uobičajna uvertira… Primećujem da ovde nije toliko napeto kao što se napolju čini, nešto se napolju nabija što mi iznutra ne razumemo. Gledala sam juče kandidata opozicije za predsednika, tog koji bi mogao da nas spase. Vrlo je obrazovan, zgodan, nije komunista i nije nasilan. Ali obećao nam je da će nas vratiti u Srbiju iz prošleg veka, da nikad neće NATO-u oprostiti što nas je bombardovao, niti će našeg sadašnjeg predsednika predati bilo kom sudu. Znam šta on radi, ili mislim da znam, mislim da pokušava da se dopadne onoj drugoj strani, Miloševićevim uplašenim glasačima. Ali u jednom trenutku za mene je postalo previše. Odmah zatim išao je u program izrežiran Miloševićev miting i eto ti njega, u punoj formi, dobro raspoložen, daleko uverljiviji od našeg kandidata za takozvani obični narod. Imam intenzivne košmare, svađam se u snu sa kandidatima, opozicija me vraća mojim babama i dedama a vladajuća klasa mojim roditeljima: zapravo i nema neke nove opcije za moderan život, za žene, neki lični slobodan prostor. Ovo kao da je neki kraj sveta, a mi smo kao neki filozofi ili anonimni glasovi koji su se suprotstavljali Neronu, Cezaru, pa su ućutkani, kosti im samlevene, ali čije se knjige danas čitaju kao hronika. Pozdrav J

Subota, 23. septembar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Otkucava vreme do izbora, sa kišom, haos u gradu. Narod kupuje vino, prasiće, pijace su kao da će uskoro neki veliki praznik, kao da je Božić. Čudna atmosfera. Moj otac je sišao sa planine, nije to rekao, ali mislim da je sišao da glasa. Zašto? Sumnjam da on to čini mene radi. Bojim se da se on boji da ne izgubi, to je realističnije, moram da prestanem da budem optimistična i idealistkinja. Niko ne glasa za tuđe dobro, a komunisti još manje, koji to javno tvrde. Njegov najbolji drug, jedan veoma fin čovek od osamdeset godina, iskreno mi je priznao: epa moj sin ti glasa za tog nekog Koštunicu iz opozicije iako se plaši njegove tolerancije prema drugim narodima, zato što vidiš, mi Srbi nismo samo nacionalisti već i rasisti. Vi, za koga ćete vi da glasate, pitam ga. Na šta me je on pogledao ljutito i prkosno iako je inače vrlo mekan i nežan čovek po prirodi. Ja ću da glasam za onoga za koga sam uvek glasao, mi moramo da nastavimo svojim putem, svet ne može da se menja, ne sme da se menja. Nije nama lako kao vama, posle 50 godina i svih strahota koje smo videli i doživeli u Drugom svetskom ratu. I suze su mu navrle na oči. Bila sam šokirana i snuždena što sam ga uvredila. Ali i vrlo razočarana: da li je to senilnost iz njega govorila ili naivnost u meni slušala? Starci se ovde nikad neće promeniti, možda njihove žene hoće, ali ovi koji su nekad nosili puške i pobedili, oni neće.

Srela sam se sa jednom studentkinjom iz Ukrajine koja je došla u Beograd i piše postdiplomski rad o mojoj književnosti. Bila sam zapanjena da neko tamo objavljuje moje priče, da ih čita, a ona je u mene gledala kao u Spisateljicu. Vrlo neprijatno. Pozvala sam je da dođe kod mene da vidi da sam ja jedna obična žena koja piše između kuvanja i spremanja.

Idem sada u Ženski centar. Snimamo našu žensku kampanju, veoma je uspešna, iako ima hapšenja i raznog drugog maltretiranja od strane policije. Ali narodu se dopao naš novi stil kao i mi same. Konačno je izašla na videlo moja ideja o novom feminizmu u Srbiji: da ga predamo mladim, jakim, lepim devojkama koje su imale samo jednu traumu, a to je Miloševićev režim poslednjih deset godina. Vrlo su mi bliske. Čak sam i smršala i oblačim se da ličim na neku od njih. Pozdrav, J

Nedelja, 24. septembar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Evo me kako sedim kod kuće u panici, i tako polovina Beograda, slušamo retke nezavisne vesti koje nalete tu i tamo, ili neko lično iskustvo ili informaciju koju ti neko saopšti. Najnovija je da baš moja opština poništava izbore i to bez zvaničnog objašnjenja. Naravno da znamo razlog, u ovoj opštini vlada 100% opozicije već poslednjih osam godina. Čujemo alarmantne vesti iz Crne Gore o kretanju vojnih jedinica, čujemo o pretnjama i hapšenjima, o proteranim novinarima, a kad slušam strane medije oni samo dolivaju ulje na moj strah površnim i katastrofičnim predviđanjima. Kiša lije kao iz kabla, ja sam oprezna i tiha. Moja susetka Romkinja kaže da ona neće ni za koga da glasa s obzirom da joj niko ništa ne daje osim mene koja joj ponekad kupim pivo. Ona kaže da bi za mene glasala, a i ja bih za nju bez daljnjeg. Ne šalim se uopšte, ona je jedna vrlo poznata žena sa ulice u našem kraju, koja nikad nikome ni kinte ne duguje.

 

Ponedeljak, 25. septembar 2000.

Draga moja Nuha,

Evo mene opet. Tako se nekako lagana osećam, za šta? Lagano da sve napustim i svakoga, što će reći moju zemju, moj narod, i da postanem nevidljiva i strankinja. Više i nije važno koga će danas mediji proglasiti pobednikom, jasno je da smo pobedili. Jasno je da u ovim mračnim vremenima, bez medija, sa velikom represijom, sa hapšenjima i maltretiranjem, sa pritiskom sankcija, narod je glasao za tog nepoznatog čoveka protiv svih laži i da moj narod nisu rođene ubice ili idioti više nego bilo koji drugi. Nismo spavali celu noć, bili smo na ulicama i sretali se sa prijateljima i strancima, razmenjujući informacije i emocije. Međutim ovaj put nije bilo euforije, atmosfera je bila mirna, ljudi smireni i oprezni. Nije čak bilo ni radosti, nekako i kad pobediš bitno je da čovek do tada nije previše izgubio. Pobeda je prekasno stigla, sporo, i nije još uvek sigurna, iako sam ubeđena da ovog puta neće biti milosti za laži i krađu i oružje. Izgleda da je čak i policija glasala protiv Miloševića. Zvaničnici su prestali i da broje te kutije i izborna komisija je raspustila štab. Samo slušam i gledam vesti pokušavajući da uključim mozak na bilo šta drugo, kao da se lagano vraćam u pravi život. I naravno, spremam se za najgore. Evo me opet u viza mašini: bože moj, kako su samo arogantni ti Italijani prema nama. Mogla sam kroz sve to da prođem da sam neke konce povukla, ali to jednostavno mrzim da radim. Vraćajući se iz ambasade, govorila sam sama sa sobom naglas: nadam se da je i vaše vreme, to jest vreme čekanja u redovima za vize gotovo zajedno sa Miloševićem, ko god bio taj Drugi, on od mene pravi Drugu.

Utorak, 26. septembar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Jesam li ti pričala kako sam išla zajedno sa tatom na glasanje? Bila sam diskretna, i pustila sam ga ispred sebe, ali on nije hteo tako, rekao je: hoću da vidiš da glasam za opoziciju, za tvog kandidata, za tebe… moja vremena su prošla… samo molim te nemoj to da pričas mojim prijateljima, ne znam ja za koga oni glasaju ali mogu sa mnom da prekinu kad to čuju i onda neću imati s kim da šetam. Pa u našoj opštini sva mesta su pripala opoziciji, što znači da su i prijatelji mog oca glasali kao i on. Ali da li će ikad jedno drugom priznati? Čini mi se da se u ovom trenutku upravo to događa: ljudi skidaju velove sa svojih reči i dela, dok ljudi na vlasti odugovlače u nadi da će taj proces moći da vrate unatrag, lažima i zastrašivanjima. Glasine kolaju da je Milošević pobegao iz zemlje. Zapravo niko iz njegove partije se još ne izjašnjava o izborima. Po opoziciji rezultati su jasni: pobeda na svim nivoima, samo se nadam da ne popuste ni pred kakvim pritiskom. Imaju iza sebe samo građane i demonstracije kao jedino moguće oružje protiv falsifikovanja ili državnog terora. Iako je još uvek sve moguće, što se mene tiče sve je gotovo, kao što rekoh, pobedili smo, mi to znamo, jaki smo i to je činjenica koju niko ne može da ospori, bilo koji tok događaja da usledi. J

Nedelja, 1. oktobar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Zar je Vavilon u Iraku? Tamo je neka proslava danas, moram da gledam na BBC-u, odjednom sve što ima veze sa Irakom postaje i moja priča. Shvatam da nemam pojma. To je moje novo otkriće: da ne znam mnogo očiglednih stvari, a da znam niz marginalnih i retkih… Pretpostavljam da je to nedostatak solidnog obrazovanja: engleske škole su tako skučene, praktične i nacionalne, bar u moje vreme su takve bile.

Upravo sam došla sa pijace gde sam kupila mnogo hleba, krompira i špageta zato što se i sutra nastavlja štrajk… Baš je sve to dosadno, na kraju deluje kao da štrajkujemo protiv samih sebe ali nema šta drugo da se radi. Razgovarala sam sa nepoznatim ljudima na pijaci; plaše se da će izgubiti posao ako štrajkuju. Ja ih vrlo dobro razumem i pitam se šta će biti. Da li će postati heroji, izgubiti posao ali pogurati točak istorije? Ili će se možda nešto treće desiti. To je nepravedno i teško rešenje za ljude koji su već na ivici gladi. Moja druga briga je kako će taj štrajk da funkcioniše praktično. Beograd je ogroman i neorganizovan grad, ali narod iz unutrašnjosti obećava da će doći pešice da nam pomognu u protestu…

Ovaj Milošević je zapravo virtuelni monstrum: još od bombardovanja prošle godine prestala sam o njemu da razmišljam, o njegovim delima i rečima i počela da mislim samo na nas, potpuno ga ignorišući… Sada mi se čini da su svi primenili tu taktiku. Što se mene tiče, ja imam sada i novog predsednika i ako ubrzo ne formira paralelnu vladu i državu, smatraću da je i opozicija ukrala i izdala moj glas. Ne znam kako da objasnim šta se dešava: veliki je talas promene na svim nivoima, sa Miloševićem kao jedinom čvrstom tačkom, koji se i dalje ponaša kao da je 1945. Juče je na primer inscenirao ogromnu vojnu paradu, bože kako je to bilo bedno.

Zvanična izborna komisija zatražila je imunitet za svoje članstvo kao uslov da podnesu dokaze o izbornoj krađi ali je naš novi predsednik odbio nagodbu: svi misle da je u pravu. Ja se pitam, kao i neke druge žene oko mene, možda ima smisla šestoro ljudi poštedeti zatvora, ako su spremni da svedoče o krađi, da se zaštite kao svedoci, da bi se skratio put i izbegli sukobi. Ali su mi mudraci zapušili usta rečima: to si ti videla u američkim filmovima, naš zakon je drugačiji i u pitanju je princip, NEMA DOGOVORA sa lopovima… J

Sreda, 4. oktobar 2000.

Moja draga Nuha,

Osećam se egocentrično jer ti pišem tri puta dnevno a onda vidim na BBC-u, našem globalizovanom programu – sad već našem zajedničkom prijatelju – kako ste i vi istorija, nasilje, demonstracije. Zapravo BBC, naš objektivni kolonijalni prijatelj, stavlja vas u vestima ispred nas ali sa istim rečima i slikama. Oni zaista imaju dobre vesti, tako dobre da je čak i Milošević pokušao da ih ometa dok su ovih dana emitovali izveštaje o nama, ali nekad zaista ne mogu da raspoznam o kome govore kad dođe to globalizovanih stereotipa, zato što ne prave mnogo razlike, jer im nisu bitne. A evo i nas dve kako zapravo i ne vidimo tu razliku. Slike nasilja su najbolje da čovek dospe do BBC-a, a ja nekad primetim da prikazuju više nasilja nego što ga zapravo ima. Nekad čak i predviđaju nasilje a minimalizuju dobre inicijative. Dakle, mi smo ovde u generalnom štrajku: sutra dolaze ljudi iz unutrašnjosti u Beograd da nam pomognu i da nas iščupaju iz Miloševićevog zagrljaja… biće to odlučujući dan i ako nam ovaj put ne uspe, gotovi smo za narednih sto godina. Nemamo mnogo nade niti pomoći od spolja, niti tražimo. Ali ima razlike u odnosu na prethodne ratove ili bombardovanje: tada smo smo sedeli i čekali, ništa nismo mogli da radimo. Sada moramo brzo da delamo jer se bukvalno borimo za život: ako ustuknemo potpuno će nas ugušiti. Već hapse neke vođe štrajkova. Svuda oko mene ljudi se politički izjašnjavaju, na univerzitetima, na poslu, po novinama, a takvi ljudi u meni izazivaju najveće emocije: obrazovana srednja klasa, osiromašena, ponižena a ipak tako su ostali pristojni… Ti su ljudi živeli od 80 DM mesečno i sada opet bivaju hrabri… pa valjda što manje imaš da izgubiš, to si hrabriji. Sinoć smo u krugu prijatelja pričali o našoj budućnosti. Moja prijateljica, profesorka hemije na fakultetu koja upravo živi od tih 80 maraka mesečno rekla je: ja nisam za to da se Milošević isporuči Hagu, njihov zatvor je jako komforan. Ja bih ga kaznila tako što bih njemu i njegovoj porodici dala stan kao moj i platu kao moju, i tako bar nekoliko godina… J

 

Sreda, 4. oktobar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Evo upravo sam došla sa ulica, od one policijske stanice ispred koje smo protestovali kad smo čuli da je policija ušla u rudnike koje su rudari zauzeli u štrajku… šta se zapravo desilo, ljudi iz okolnih sela su došli i oterali policiju. I svet iz Beograda se organizovao da krene u to mesto, Lazarevac, a tamo je već naš novi predsednika sa rudarima. Nešto sam se sva spetljala međutim svetom: shvatila sam da nemam kola, da ne mogu nikoga sa kolima da nađem, žene prosto niti imaju kola, niti novca, ni vremena… jednostavno moramo da vodimo računa uvek o deci, o ručkovima… kakva politika i veliki potezi… stajala sam po strani sa tim besnim ženama: besnim zbog lošeg života i ženskih obaveza u tim lošim životima. Samo su slobodne krenule autobusom u revoluciju, da pomognu rudarima i da se osete bitnima i od pomoći… Pa valjda je moj položaj žene koja piše deo te nevidljive mase. A nova pojava u ovoj zaista mirnoj revoluciji jesu grupe besnih žena koje preuzimaju inicijativu: žene svih godina i klasa, sve van sebe od besa. Danas su muškarci vikali na policiju ispred stanice: ako nas ne pustite unutra poslaćemo žene na vas… a žene su vrištale: vi muškarci, kastriraćemo vas, prebićemo vas, vi ste najobičniji slabići, koga briga za vas, za Koštunicu ili za vas, sve ja ovo radim jer su mi deca gladna… sram vas bilo, milicijo, političari, sve ste vi ovo zakuvali a sada ćete nama ženama da platite… Tako me je bilo sramota i za njih i od njih pa ipak sam imala duboko razumevanje za te Medeje… tako da sam samo stala uz njih, ja sam zapravo u toj istoj koži samo što su one ispred mene, u dobru i u zlu, J

Četvrtak, 5. oktobar 2000.

Draga Nuha,

Sedim za svojim kompjuterom, buljim u razne satelitske programe na četri jezika koja mogu da pratim, slušam lokalne radio stanice koje uživo prenose… i pitam se kada treba da izađem, gde, zašto… hoću sve, da vidim i da se danas sve desi… za sva vremena. Ustavni sud je objavio da su izbori delimično poništeni, opet nešto što ništa ne znači kao inače sve što radi Milošević… ovih dana više nego ikad. Niko zapravo i ne obaća više pažnju, opozicija je dala sudu ultimativni rok, danas do 3 sata popodne, ali ni to više nije odlučujuće… Narod se skuplja iz cele Srbije oko Skupštine u tri sata. Moja najbolja prijateljica vratila se sinoć iz Lazarevca, iz rudnika, jutros je silno zabrinuta, rudari mole narod da ih ne ostave same zato što se policija približava. Opet ogromna energija ali i velika konfuzija, nemoguće je da budemo svi zajedno sve vreme i da sve odbranimo ali zaista imamo apsolutno pravo da sve to bude naše jer je sve to naše i on mora da ode. Počinjem da mrzim tog čoveka, pošto sam ga zaboravila neko vreme: ne mogu da smislim njegovu tvrdoglavost, bezobrazluk, nasilje… Počinjem da ga vidim kao pravog monstruma, diktatora, a ne kao lutka grbavca… Valjda mi se smučilo i strpljenje me je izdalo zbog svih žrtava koje smo podneli i ovih dana trpimo. Moj otac je jutros išao u bolnicu: taksista mu je tražio pet puta više od tarife. Kad je odbio da plati, šofer ga je fizički napao. Rekoh ocu: zašto zaboga moraš da ideš baš danas u bolnicu, na dan generalnog štrajka. A on meni: zato što moje zdravlje ne može da čeka, ja sam bolestan i star čovek. Ali činjenica je da smo mi svi ostali stavili na stendbaj i zdravlje i glad i život i to ne samo jedan dan… to već traje godinama.

Upravo sam čula da su studenti okupirali fakultet i da ne daju policiji da uđe… Odoh sada na ulice… da i ja nađem sebi bezbedno mesto, da ga okupiram, to mesto više nije moj dom.

Evo me nazad sa ulica, ogromna masa, toliko ljudi, sve ulice do moje kuće su prepune ljudi, iz cele Srbije, došla sam skoro do ulaza u Skupštinu, u ulici iza Skupštine živi moj otac i to je takođe nekad bio moj dom. Ali nismo uspeli baš do ulaza, gušili smo se u masi. I onda je samo neki svet napravio mesto kroz nas i ušli su u Skupštinu: policija je bacila suzavac, mnogo suzavca… ćerka me je sad zvala telefonom, iza Skupštine policija je bacala suzavac i tukla ljude, a i ljudi njih, neka deca zapravo… Gužva, taj deo mirne gužve kojoj ja pripadam, mi iz centra Beograda koji glasamo za opoziciju već deset godina pa ipak ne možemo da dođemo na vlast, počeli smo da se povlačimo, ka kućama, skloništima. I evo me kod kuće, oči su mi crvene od suza. Čujem da je narod ušao u Skupštinu, oni ljuti, da lome prozore, da je policija pobegla, da naš novoizabrani predsednik uskoro drži govor. Svuda dim oko Skupštine, gore policijska kola i neko je video ženu kako sa gornjeg sprata maše zastavom: podsetilo me je na veliki pad ruske imperije i na Ejzenštajnov film, Oklopnjača Potemkin…

Ko pobeđuje ili ko će da pobedi, što se mene tiče ja ne pobeđujem. Mnogo se plašim: bivši predsednik može da iskoristi ovu situaciju i da proglasi vanredno stanje, da nas pohapsi, da nas rasturi… jedini pristojan način da se ovo nastavi, posle zvanične izjave vrhovnog suda da su izbori poništeni je ignorisati bivšu vlast i napraviti paralelnu vladu. Koga briga za savezni parlament, nađimo negde sopstvenu sobu i da obavimo stvar. Mirno.

Upravo sam čula da gore i Skupština i zgrada televizije: moja ćerka to gleda… kakvo detinjstvo…

Opet sam na vezi: izgleda da je Srbija konačno slobodna, predsednik Koštunica govori ispred Skupštine, svi javni mediji su oslobođeni, ljudi direktno ulaze u emisije u studija, vojska ulazi u Beograd ali maše ljudima i niko ne zna gde se nalazi bivši predsednik, nadajmo se da ćemo ga jako brzo zaboraviti ali ne i njegova dela…

Gledam zvaničnu televiziju i jednog rudara kako govori, osećam se kao u snu, svi pričaju moje priče, moje košmare, sa više stvarnosti i istine od mene: ja sam bila žena vizionarka u ratu… ne, ja sam samo bila dovoljno srećna da preživim i da sve ovo doživim, svi smo ovo zajedno napravili, zajedno i sa vama tamo i nikome sada nećemo dati da nam ovo ikad oduzme…

About jasminatesanovic

Jasmina Tešanović (Serbian: Јасмина Тешановић) (born March 7, 1954) is a feminist, political activist (Women in Black, Code Pink), translator, publisher and filmmaker. She was one of the organizers of the first Feminist conference in Eastern Europe "Drug-ca Zena" in 1978, in Belgrade. With Slavica Stojanovic, she ran the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans "Feminist 94" for 10 years. She is the author of Diary of a Political Idiot, a war diary written during the 1999 Kosovo War and widely distributed on the Internet. Ever since then she has been publishing all her work, diaries, stories and films on blogs and other Internet media.
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2 Responses to 10 Years After the Fall of Milosevic

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