Twenty Years of Women in Black, Serbia

In English, na srpskom

Women in Black Serbia: 20 Years After
Activists of Women in Black Are Answering Sept 3, 2011

What does Women in Black mean to you today?

Initiative, a possibility for new values, a denial of patriarchy; an organization which is coherent with its basic values; an authentic activist organization; a way to the light, to permanent peace, to equality, to justice; the only place where I feel full and myself; an organisation of brave, affirmative, responsible and friendly women, feminists and antimilitarists; a place where I feel safe, and autonomous; an organization which opens our eyes in this darkness; a feminist group which is not depoliticized; the last island; the beginning of my activism; solidarity, right to the right, resistance; life, motivation, energy, belonging to women with similar views; against violence, strength, support; not to be fooled by our own; path to my life and my past; the most reliable and relevant pacifist organization in Serbia; the most numerous group even though authorities don’t like us; one of the rare NGOs whose activity is not controlled by the donors; persistence, truth; transformation of anger into action; an organisation which builds bridges, unifies women with ideas, escapes from false reality; place of inspiration, motivation; an anthem of Women in Black we sing; a place where we think about the past, we change the present to have a future; an institution to preserve peace, dignity, identity, human rights, understanding, warmth, knowledge, exchange, giving; a group which awakes the good in us.

In April 30, 1999 I finished my first essay on Women in Black, Serbia with these words: this essay could have been different if the world did not go in this direction. I wrote it after waking during the heavy NATO bombings in Belgrade, because of the even heavier internal repression of the criminal regime of Slobodan Milosevic.
And today, October 9, 2011, I am repeating that point. Women in Black in Serbia are celebrating 20 years of existence. It is an occasion for us women activists to celebrate the joys of activism but also an opportunity to remember the circumstances that brought us into the world. Women in Black in Serbia, the best and biggest worldwide ambassador spreading the truth about the existence of another, honorable Serbia, a Serbia of public conscience, has never become an institutional part of the society.
We are still in the streets. We are still public enemies. Serbia still lives in organized denial about the political criminality of the last 20 years.
A WIB activist from USA told me, when she heard I was writing this text:
“Even though you may sound obsessive, bear in mind that your work on the criminal past is the most important activism in this historical moment in the world. Your persistence and your methods will become a manual for the construction of an alternative history for others, as well.”
And this is what the activists of WIB in Serbia said today answering the question:
What do you know about history of WIB Serbia?
Transitional justice; antimilitarism, peace actions against the war, stimulating citizens to rebel, bringing out the crimes committed against civilians; facing the past, street actions against the war; visiting the places of crime as a mean of transitional justice, solidarity with the victims, antifascism, women’ s tribunal, Srebrenica genocide, everyday refusal of war and war consequences; counterculture, standing in ritual black in silence, engagement for a better future; standing for Srebrenica and a march; support for trials agains war criminals Mladic, Karadzic and others; help for Roma and other women victims of war; healing, feminism, permanent remembering of the injustice; a group which brings evidence about truth in recent wars, facing the responsibility of crimes committed in our names, and our responsibility for it.

During that faraway 30th of April 1999, I tried to explain the meaning of WIB in Serbia. I still don’t know in which direction the world will take, but I do know that we will still be in the streets, in the public places, with the words that have to be spoken.

“It is a symbolic, provocative way in which women expose themselves and their own bodies, to express their cry against the war, trying to awaken the conscience of others,” says Stasa Zajovic

The most important aspects of this crisis of conscience are the war crimes committed in our names. First among many crimes, the Srebrenica genocide. WiB reached out to the survivors, mostly women from Srebrenica, very soon after the massacre. That powerful alliance and friendship, based on solidarity and empathy among women regardless of religion and ethnicity, became the means of building an alternative power structure. That structure resisted against the local, regional and world politicians who attempted to obscure the suffering, including the Hague tribunal, which recently destroyed the personal evidence of the victims. This bond is the most valuable pacifist victory in the region: our men fighting wars did not manage to make us enemies.
WIB from Serbia regularly visit the scenes of crimes committed in our name:
Srebrenica, Tuzla, Vukovar, Sjeverin, Prijedor, Omarska, Vlasenica, Lovas, Visegrad, Štrpci, Bratunca, Zvornik …

On every anniversary of these crimes, WIB warn the local and world community that justice has not been achieved — not even the minimum needed to achieve political reconciliation in the region. WIB regularly issue their communiqués decrying yesterdays unnecessary wars, today’s life in denial, and tomorrow’s shallow and opaque national identity, all of them the responsibility of an authority structure which has never been held accountable.
“The political philosophy of WIB has sprung out of life, by a patchwork method” claims Adriana Zaharijevic .

“For us, facing the past is primarily facing the truth about crimes and criminals, but also remembering the peaceful resistance in this country.
As a feminist, I know that it was only a continuation of home work, which has a therapeutic effect, but not a transformational value. I felt very keen not to be not only the mothers but the women, not merely to comfort and nurse our own sons.
The first standing of WIB in the Balkans was organized in Sarajevo 27 September 1991. It was an extremely strong experience for me, physical and spiritual.
When I came back to Belgrade I spent days and nights convincing women to do the same since I thought it was the best way to fight. And thus 9 Oct 1991 WIB came to be.” Stasa Zajovic

Hannah Arendt argued that a trial brings a platform for responsibility in the space between the past and the future.
In order to start such responsibility it is necessary to use, in the present, that precious talent of imagination, which allows us to to rethink our future, since we have questioned our past.

You can forgive the person, but not through obscuring the commission of crime, which is unforgivable.

In 2010, in the action “Women Ask,” Women in Black sent a letter with the same content to 15 addresses. This letter marked the 19 years since the beginning of the war. The letter was sent to all relevant ministries which dealt, or should deal with, the confrontation of the Serbian state with the past, with demilitarization, reparations, rights of war invalids, material and non-material damages, human security, domestic violence, mental health, and so forth.
The letter asked simply:
How many civilian victims were there in the 1991-1999 wars?
How many recruits/soldiers died in the wars?
How many mass graves are there in Serbia, and what is the number of victims in the mass graves in Serbia?
What is the number of war invalids?
What is the number of refugees?
How many volunteers from Serbia were there?
Which percentage of reservists did not respond to the calls to mobilisation, and how many reservists hid from the draft in order to evade military obligation?
How many men were tried before military tribunals for failure to comply with mobilisation or for deserting from the battlefield?
How many men were sued for offense to the law for the same reasons?
How many rebellions of reservists were there in Serbia?
How many reservists participated in them?
How many men, mostly young, left the country in order not to go to war?
How many refugees in Serbia were mobilised for war and this, against all international conventions?
How many refugees were mobilised on the basis of the lists delivered by the Red Cross and the Commissariat for Refugees to the Ministry of Internal Affairs?
How many war victims received indemnification?
What is the extent of the material damage inflicted to military runaways/deserters, because they could not, for objective reasons (hiding), earn for their life?
How many men, military runaways in the student population, were compelled to leave their studies?
How many victims of post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD are there in Serbia and how many men suffering from PTSD committed suicide?
How many women suffered violence, the most serious form of domestic violence, from male relatives suffering from PTSD and how many women experience daily domestic violence from former participants in the war?

We demand that all these data becomes public, and that these truths should cease to be a military secrets. Only by stating the truth about crimes committed in our names will the present authorities rid themselves of the weight of the criminal past.

We all know that there was a war in Serbia. If we don’t get to know the facts about the war, the climate of opinion that allowed the war will still prevail, and we will live in danger of new conflicts.

In 2009 WIB sent a letter to the president of Serbia, Boris Tadic:

Respected president:

We are asking you as a president of Serbia who has the authority to decide the major issues of serbian policy.
We remind you that Serbia has the duty declared by the International Hague Tribunal to condemn the war crimes.

We are reminding you that on 15 January 2009 the European Parliament has voted a resolution which declares 11 July as the Memorial day of the genocide in Srebrenica

With this, given the declared political will of the citizens of Serbia to join the European Union, this applies to our own authorities…

We DEMAND
that you Support the Initiative “Declare” , which declares 11th of July as Memory Day of respect for the victims of genocide in Srebrenica.

WIB have stood for that initiative “Declare” from January 2009 to June 2010.

The writing of alternative history is a duty of us feminist writers and activists, witnesses of the world in which we live. History written by men from a patriarchal point of view obscures the lived experience of women, sometimes even rendering it secret. When we look into the bloody archives of the written past we find out only what women did NOT do. They are almost invisible.
That is why WIB ritually follow the trials for war crimes committed in our names and in our language, and then writing diaries from the trials: Scorpions for Srebrenica genocide, for the Podujevo crime, Suva Reka, and so on.
Sitting together with the victims, listening in our language about crimes committed in our names, writing it in our mother tongue, those details, the body language and vicinity, brings us to a catharsis and a new space of mind and political action, where there is hope.
But it is not enough to pursue only institutionally the war crimes, we also need the the alternative models of transition justice.

We must:
– Create new ways of transitional justice: the models we have known up to now do not respond to the complicated matters in the past, and are not adequate to break with the criminal past. That is why our feminist approach for transitional justice is also a way to to build a feminist theory and practice. As we follow the trials, we support the members of the families of the victims, we organize film screenings and discussions, readings with the topic of transitional justice.

– Do permanent educational work: organizing seminars, workshops, conferences, and testimonies from war victims as material for alternative history. The war has been a long term planned issue, the creation of that moral system which allowed the war in which so many took part. To destroy that system, to get rid of the causes of war, it takes time as well.

Continuous brainstorming on this topic is necessary.

– Remember and celebrate important dates of the non violent resistance in Serbia: the fact that the regime in Serbia permanently produced hate, wars and violence. But to stress also the fact that it produces the antiwar movement.

To build an alternative history is for women a jump in the abyss, because for centuries they have been silent, and they don’t own a proper language and tradition. That is why our own language and esthetics has to be created in parallel.

“My wearing black is not only mourning of my nearest and dearest but of all war victims. It’s not the classical woman’s role or mourning, it is a resistance to killings of citizens, violence in everyday life, and standing up against military power which brings death and disaster.” Stasa

” I think that it is important to keep the silence as a ritual because our performance becomes more expressive that way” Ana

Silence is a territory of the Others, a place of non violence.

Milica Tomic is a conceptual artist and a collaborator of WIB who performed the march of peace for many days and miles, on the path of Bosnian victims of ethnic cleansing. She made a movie “Women from Srebrenica Speak”, produced by WIB in 2008.

The theatre group’ “Dah Teatar,” our activist companions, several times staged WIB performances:
“Bread’ (2004)
“Neither Whores Nor Saints” ( 2007)
They staged a tour “Women’s Side of the War” based on the anthology published by WIB 2009.
The conceptual group “Skart” has been the visual music and graphic designer of the group; the anthem, the cover pages of books, the posters…
Memorial to the deserters: building of a symbolic monument to the rebels against war is remembering the non violent peace movement, pursing the civilian courage and disobedience.
A Building of a permanent monument to the victims of Srebrenica: “A Pair of Shoes, One Life”, where citizens drop the shoes and a photo as a memento in a public place.

The mottos of WIB often try to deconstruct the kitchen and traditional role of woman. From a patriarchal space to a free space of power.

Men in WIB are welcome since “Women in Black” cannot be defined as an exclusively women’s group. So what does then word “Women” exactly mean?

It means war deserters, gays, and all men who don’t hesitate to declare themselves “Women in Black.” To say:

Don’t speak in our name, for we are speaking in our names
Don’t be fooled by our own
Don’t be fooled by others
To be an antipatriot
To implement women’s solidarity
To accept the role of a traitor
To build trust
To transform the sense of guilt into the sense of responsibility
To support war deserters and conscientious objectors
To stimulate responsibility.

To leap over ethnic walls and barriers, condemning every war, refusing obedience to heroic militarists, helping victims of war, permanently demanding accountability for war crimes.

WIB also take part in the global feminist politics of the international WIB movement, as well as other sisterly groups: they stand in solidarity always in pacifist initiatives against wars and discriminations around the world.

WiB assessed the implementation of the UN resolution 1325(The Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security on 31 October 2000. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.) which in a detailed way analyzes the official insecurity of women in Serbia, as well as expressing deep mistrust in the Serbian government’s ability to implement such a resolution.

WiB have been several times candidates for Nobel peace prize and have received other international and national prestigious recognitions. We are still in the streets, still notorious in the mind of the majority of the Serbian population.

Physical, institutional and verbal attacks continue, the harassment of the group and its members is still present in the mainstream press.

Our motto ALWAYS DISOBEDIENT is a permanent political and mental hygiene which is a positive permanent corrective for all healthy democratic societies.

Always and all the time: Always Disobedient with WIB!

In conclusion, the words that WIB members associate with WIB today:
Hope, a different world, non violence, safety, independence struggle, all equal all different, strong woman, feminism, critical mind, truth, justice solidarity support community activism, streets, embrace, pride, coherence, adventure, chaos / cosmos, resistance, bravery, care embrace peace, peace and love.

WOMEN IN BLACK, BELGRADE
by Jasmina Tesanovic, published by Campus Verlag, Germany

I started writing this text on history of Women in Black, in Belgrade April 13th, 1999, exactly 21 days after the NATO bombing started on the territory of Yugoslavia. I finished my outline of the text on March 23rd, the day before the first bombs fell: my last words were WAITING FOR NATO.
As in a flashback I will try to tell you our story, how it all began, and come back to this moment, at the end of my story…

You are no good, says Stasa’s mama to Stasa in a video tape where the daughter, dressed in urban black, visits her mother, an old woman in peasant black, in Montenegro. You are no good, you haven’t married, you haven’t children, you don’t have a flat…the things you are doing… What she, Stasa Zajovic, the founder of the movement of Women in Black in Belgrade, is doing is standing on the streets in weekly silent vigils for peace.
I guess that is the reaction of the average Serbian and Montenegrin mother to feminism and women in activism, including my mother, who is an urban doctor: don’t waste time, women are made for private life, only scum are on the streets…
The first standing of Women in Black happened October 9th, 1991. It was a terrible year, but it was only the beginning of what was going to be one of the longest wars in Europe of the past few centuries: war in the territories of the former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia had informally entered into war with Croatia, Slovenia had already withdrawn from the country, Bosnia was boiling, and from the very beginning, some wise heads were threatening: it will all end in Kosovo. I hated them all: they sounded like people who knew too much and yet too little. What troubled me was that the consciousness of living together with differences was falling apart; in all republics I traveled at that time, history was more or less falsified, language transformed and people threatened with a new history that MUST be different and better.
The Women in Black movement was a pacifist and feminist group, an answer to the falling of Yugoslavia as it was supported by nationalist parties in every republic. The historical precedent of Women in Black of Belgrade was Women in Black in Israel, the original idea was born there in 1988 in a protest against the aggression of the Israeli government against the Palestinians. The Israeli women came together with Palestinian women, and American women too. The fundamental principle of all Women in Black groups: to protest a sovereign government entering into an aggressive war on a foreign territory. The second manifestation of Women in Black was in Italy in February 1991: Italian Women in Black organized vigils throughout Italian cities standing against the participation of Italian soldiers in the Gulf War. Their goal was also to spread the character of the movement beyond the national borders of one country and immediate zones of conflict.
Lepa Mladjenovic, a Woman in Black who attended the first standing, recalls her feelings: “I was very embarrassed at that time to stand in the street. I felt strange, something was missing, I didn’t know what at that time but now I know. There was actually no tradition of women standing in the streets against something: I knew about the Israeli women, about the Italians but it was different to know them about than to stand personally. After weeks and weeks of regular standing this missing element was found or created by our own standing: we created our own tradition, sense and language.”

When I tried to interview Stasa about the first standing, she turned me down a few times. The last time it was with these words: It is all a blur to me, I am depressed, I woke up in a terrible mood. I phoned the very last of my friends left in Pristina, and they were gone. Before, their phone was busy all the time, now it rings into infinity. That is the way it goes for all of them who left, you can no longer reach them but you can tell they have gone by the ringing… I have to run to a meeting, my Italian friends are here, maybe that will bring me up…Looking at her in the green market, thin and shaking, where I meet her often carrying many vegetables and flowers, I remembered her reading a text at a feminist conference: “On foreign language.” She was singing, not talking, making us all cry. I remembered her hugging me in the green market among gypsies and smugglers, again with full hands when I was crying out of fear a year ago when the war in Kosovo started. Then I started writing my diary: ”On Normality: A Moral Opera of a Political Idiot.” I will write down everything for everybody, I said. I am just a writer, Stasa is a poet.

Meanwhile, a female onlooker described the standing from her point of view: I saw them standing, my God how I admired them, I thought they were very brave, I thought exactly the same things as their signs read but I didn’t dare stand with them until much later.

Neda Bozinovic, 82, standing since October 9th, 1991 with Women in Black, had been without electricity for 24 hours because of the bombing in a 13th floor flat when I phoned her. She said, let me think before darkness falls: I can hardly move these days and I am afraid that I won’t live long enough for this madness to stop. Don’t you think they have all gone mad? Then she declared solemnly: “Ever since ‘36 I was an antifascist women’s rights activist fighting for peace, tolerance, coexistence, equality. I lived through the destruction of my country, the former Yugoslavia, and in order to survive that I have chosen to be a Woman in Black, to save the values that were my life. Today, Women in Black are fighting against the global militarism that is destroying all of us…” Is it poetic enough, she asked me, I have forgotten all language but political language. You are a legend, I answered without flattery, her knowledge and her life are that of which legends are made.

These were their written words: WE REMAIN ON THE STREETS…
Peace policy in practice, on October 9th, 1991 we launched a permanent public, non-violent protest against war, against the Serbian regime’s nationalistic and militaristic policy, and against all forms of discrimination.

The visual appeal of this first demonstration in front of the Students’ Cultural Center – once, in the sixties, seventies and eighties, the international center of conceptual arts, one of the few free spaces with a history in Belgrade – was stunning. I guess it was something beyond what had previously been seen. There were too many different elements for a quick judgment and always too many prejudices at stake: feminism, women dressed in black as in New York, the fashion center of the world, and at the same time as in more primitive times where women’s duty was to dress and mourn in black — contradictory elements of representation. And other elements: standing, being still, mute, with fliers, as a specific form of body art joined with a political message that recalls the conceptual genius of Marina Abramovic. The fact that the female body is offered as the object of art as well as a tool for understanding what the art stands for: the direct use and impact of the feminine principle. For the first time since the first multiparty elections and democratic vote in Yugoslavia in 1990, the resistance of women became visible. And finally, what enters my mind as I consider the development of the artistic/political language of the Women in Black movement, the one that doesn’t divide form from essence, is the statement of the controversial Russian artist Kulik, whose provocative performances has led him to arrest more than once in major capitals throughout Europe: The death of art has come, only the artists have survived. In accordance with this, the dynamic principle of a standing with, later on, crying, dancing, kissing, hugging, eating, drinking, singing, of Women in Black means: self-centered esthetics and politics. Cynthia Cockburn comments: standing is binding the group and making it static, safe, you can even lie down or sit in moments of provocation – as when in 1993 a militaristic right-wing group, White Eagles, attacked them. The group can change the form in order to stay vital.
The first group was actually a commune without any common basis: national, age, social, sex or sexual choice. The only common principle was pacifism, and great tolerance reigned among the members because of the strong resistance to the existing and then future wars. The first group-commune consisted of: refugees, war deserters, feminists, minorities (both ethnic and sexual), and foreign friends and supporters. We are all Women in Black, I too, who always dress in white when standing, or you readers who agree with what I am writing about: this is the most correct principle of establishing the fluctuating membership of Women in Black. The first meeting was group therapy: concrete help for concrete people in trouble from the war and the new anarchic-aggressive regime. You create your own conditions of development: in this case, first standing and then meetings and workshops.
Women’s peace strategies develop out of their specific positions in war, in this case, in a socio-political context in which the opposition parties, except for a few very small parties (such as Civil Alliance), also take a nationalist stand, in peace if not in war, and as victims of violence or hunger, politically excluded from the public sphere, war being a patriarchal men’s game. Actually, no group other than women, or war deserters, could have a clear position of speaking without taking up weapons. And following this very heterogeneous basis for discussions of the link between feminism and nationalism, a very dynamic and polemic workshop was held by Women in Black as early as 1993 on the topic: Did the war help or hinder feminism in Serbia? Gisela Kaplan, an Australian historian, argues in “Feminism and Nationalism: The European Case” that traditionally in Europe, but for the two exceptions of Italy during unification and Finland, feminism was never linked to nationalism, on the contrary. But the workshop in Belgrade revealed that besides the traditionalization, instrumentalization and naturalization that women in our society suffered in war conditions (which happened all over former Yugoslavia, and in other new countries as well) the war in Serbia actually opened a new free space thanks to a crack in the system. The state, being occupied with military engagements, couldn’t control and follow up all the social and humanitarian developments that resulted from the war. So the women used that abandoned space in order to stand up to everyday demands but doing so in their own different ways they started to change not only their consciousness but also their society that they impacted with their activities. As Simone Weil says: in momentous historical events, personal emotions have a significance which have never received proper attention. After the war with Croatia, the Bosnian war started and in this situation of civil, ethnic and religious war, an enormous percent of casualties — 90% — were among women and children. Thus women, and not soldiers, became the protagonists and true victims of the conflict. As an answer to this absurdity, women, whose positions were more similar to each other than to their men, developed different emotions and language than the military one. As a consequence, significant networking of women developed between the three sides in conflict from the very beginning in peace and humanitarian activities.

As I write, with many gaps because of the difficulty of concentrating on anything but the daily war of survival and nightly NATO bombs, I receive the latest Woman in Black appeal …

WOMEN IN BLACK AGAINST WAR
AN APPEAL TO MEMBERS OF NATO PACT

Women in Black Against War from Belgrade ever since 1991 are actively working for peace and non-violence. The policy which characterizes Women in Black Against War begins with confronting every form of violence, war, militarism, nationalism. Since 1991 the biggest casualty on the territory of Former Yugoslavia was the civilian population. It is happening again now.
The values which we are supporting are life, solidarity, respecting of differences. For 8 years already we are developing a network of exchange and solidarity against war which involves women from all the continents, among them are of course, also women from countries of NATO pact.
As a women’s organization which was always engaged against militarism, that is, against all forms of military intervention, this time too it is against the military intervention of the NATO pact against FRY.
Until now we always had support and solidarity from women’s and peace movements in Europe and the USA. Unfortunately, the governments of these countries didn’t take into account the work of the peace movements in their countries much less the activity of the peace movement in FRY.
We, Women in Black against war from Belgrade demand from the government members of the NATO pact:

TO STOP IMMEDIATELY THE BOMBINGS ON THE TERRITORY OF FRY
TO ESTABLISH THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS AND AN INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE ON BALKANS
TO ENABLE THE REFUGEES, EXPELLED AND DISPLACED POPULATION FROM KOSOVO, IF THEY WISH TO, TO COME BACK OR GO TO THIRD COUNTRIES

We demand Women in Black and all women’s peace organizations to give this appeal to their governments.
Human rights and democracy cannot be imposed by bombs and weapons but can only be instigated by negotiations and supporting of all powers which are firmly for human rights and democracy.

BELGRADE, 20th April 1999

Going back to the early nineties…From the very beginning Women in Black developed grassroots activities as the body of their political work; this form of activism was unique among opposition political parties and groups, which mostly concentrated on political theory and had definite power structures. The activities of Women in Black developed in various phases according to immediate political needs, a quick response to everyday political reality being their main approach, again perhaps the only political group in Yugoslavia that always had an apt and peaceful democratic reaction to the changes in everyday life. According to one of their leaflets, Women in Black activities are: 1) Opposing the Serbian regime’s policy toward Kosovo 2) Protests and actions aimed at drawing public attention to atrocities against civilians during the war 3) Antimilitarist actions 4) Actions and protests as part of international campaigns and marking dates relevant to the international peace and women’s movement 5) Distribution of leaflets and civilian intervention in everyday situations 6) International conference: “Network of Women’s Solidarity Against War” 7) Publishing 8) Travelling women’s workshops 9) Conscientious objection and antimilitarism 10) Support to refugees 11) Alternative international policy 12) Counter-information network 13) Internal workshops.
Among many standings and workshops held by Women in Black, this is one with which I assisted and that I could describe as special compared to workshops I have attended with other groups because of the complete freedom of speech and movement and the lack of any common hierarchy of the group by age, nationality, or social background.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998
Today I stood in the Square of Republic (official name) or the Square of Freedom (opposition name) with the Women in Black for peace in Kosovo. The SPS and the SPO, the ruling and opposition parties, both think people should fight and die for land, and in that spirit they name their children and their public squares. As always, very few people are interested. There were a few photographers and one began to yell at us out of nowhere because some women didn’t want to be photographed. He yelled like a man does at a stupid woman, “Why do you stand at all if you don’t want to be photographed?” I told him not to preach. I no longer tolerate such cultural primitivism. I nearly hit a taxi driver who rudely cat-called me and tried to block my path. Women, traitors of war, protesting for peace. One pensioner curses us out. He’s for going to war. Hiding behind his years and gender, he doesn’t tolerate differences of opinion. Not even threats of death can change people like this old aggressive guy; it only hardens them in their selfish disinterest for what is going on outside their own lives and in the primitive aggressive instinct that is typical of a male chauvinist patriarchal culture such as the Serbian.
A few years ago pacifists asked for military intervention in Bosnia; it’s happening again now in Serbia. I’m a political idiot. I can’t stand military intervention anywhere, least of all here where I live. I’m simply afraid because I know that it is near, I feel that I don’t have the strength to flee, and on the other hand, I know that there is no room outside for those of us here in the pigsty.
Later in the workshop I said: I am in a nervous breakdown, my men are being mobilized, I cannot protect them… I cursed and screamed and cried out loud. Nobody paid attention to my tone, but some stood out with concrete help: from coffee and hugs to legal advice and offers of money…”

These are the titles of the numerous workshops throughout the years that, better than any theories, describe the conflict resolution political model as well as the dark times in Serbia/Yugoslavia: “Democradura: Democracy As Dictatorship”; “Cultural resistance to cultural domination”; “Non-violent strategies”; “Not peace brought from outside but through solidarity with local groups – a new political language,” “How war affects our sexual life”; “Nostalgia”; “ Are women changing politics”; “Lesbianism and political responsibility”; “Guilt”; “Burning out”; “Silence will not protect us”; “Ethnic cleansing”; “Racism and xenophobia”; “War and oblivion”; “Is there a difference between an aggressor and a defender of a homeland”; “Feminine existence and fundamentalism;” “Personal is international”; “Against agreement between local and international militaristic groups”…
I would like at this point to concentrate on one main theme of the Women in Black thoughts/workshop/body language: I AM DISLOYAL. Now this sentence has caused much pain to many people, especially women, who dared to pronounce it in a patriarchal emotional and cultural environment. Actually the root of this thinking lies in ancient Greek “democratic” society where women (and most men) were excluded from not only political life but also any kind of information. Thus the word idiot originally in ancient Greece meant a person to whom information was denied and only later this word took on the degrading meaning it carries today. But Women in Black of Belgrade often quote Cassandra and her myth as retold by Christa Wolfe, thus through a feminist reading: women are disloyal, that is, not always behind their men (fathers, husband, brothers) and their states (national, political, territorial), denying the patriarchal structure of the modern democracies based on the old Greek misogynist democracies. So women speak up: In my own name, Body thought, Through cults of encounters, Without being deceived by their own, In another language to lessen the pain, Creating utopias…
The best example of these embodied activities and ideas are the annual international conferences of Women in Black: to date six meetings in Vojvodina in different places, on a lake, in woods, under tents… These three day conferences were actually a rapture of joy and tears that through little sleep, much talk, music and wine brought catharsis. In 1996 in Novi Sad, the first public lesbian marriage, between an Albanian woman and a English woman, was celebrated with female/feminine rituals of dancing and singing…
Among the initiatives of Women in Black of more general appeal are: the ritual standing of the group on Wednesdays in the Square of the Republic, and on the 8th of March, a bonding moment with all women of the world. The last standing this year concentrated on stopping the war in Kosovo, stopping NATO…
Women in Black, with Feminist publisher 94 from Belgrade, published an alternative women’s history by Neda Bozinovic, one of the founders and oldest members of the group: “The Women’s Movement in Serbia in the 19th and 20th Centuries”. In this book, it is evident that women have lived and led an alternative, not only private but clearly existing political or public, life throughout the last two centuries. It was as indisputable as the last March 8th standing against the war. A regular annual book of Women in Black activities, texts, leaflets, and letters is published as a document of women’s permanent alternative agenda/history/theory of visual and general appeal.
The visibility of the body politic, or theory embodied in concrete protest or proposals, its immediate impact on everyday reality and response to it, is the major legacy of the grassroots political and democratic engagement of Women in Black. In 1997, all of Serbian society suddenly became involved in a similar initiative: the famous civilian protest against the falsified election results, the so-called revolution of noise in which up to 500,000 people marched every day through the streets of Belgrade. It was one of the biggest civilian protests in the 20th century considering the fact that it happened throughout Serbia in the bigger towns, and in Belgrade, where 1/4 of its population was on the streets everyday, without leaders. Actually the leaders from the opposition were running after the people in order to deliver their speeches. It was a completely non-hierarchic democratic gathering with different groups and symbols, confronting the police cordons and carrying their badges and mottoes. Women in Black participated with their rainbow flags of peace in the protest. Now, at a certain point they were attacked by a right-wing group taking part in the demonstration, because of their defense of homosexuals. This incident speaks of a common phenomenon in mass initiatives: the allies eventually judge each other. And that sexism, nationalism and militarism always go together, which caused the split of the Coalition Zajedno (Coalition Together) — the political alliance that later led the mass protests — as soon as victory was won against the common enemy, the ruling party of President Milosevic that was responsible for the electoral theft. Women in Black were critical and distant regarding the structure of the mass demonstrations but an outdoor, massive and spontaneous display of the theatrical-political will of the civilians is actually part of the wider concept of the Women in Black politics.
It is the end of a century, one of the most inhumane centuries humankind has lived through: yet, one of its most successful, as far as human crafts of intellect are concerned. Not only was the death of art proclaimed, but also that of humanity. Yet, the cruelest century is revolutionary as far as women’s human rights are concerned thanks to two facts: contraception and the technological revolution. The first changed the biological woman’s role into a social choice. The second, ruled out physical strength as the dominant characteristic in the division of roles and power. So women could finally be in step with the male-dominant society without “hindering” mankind. Now this change brought about deeper and qualitative changes in women’s definitions of politics and rules, all expressed in the standpoint of the Women in Black group: Policy not of charity but of change; Financing not war but health and education; Alternative women’s economy …
Perhaps the most important aspect of the theoretical work embodied in very practical initiatives, conferences and meetings in local villages and all over the continents is the concept of the so-called International Alternative Politics based on the real globalization of the politics of patriarchy, which also globalizes the needs and injustices of the social status of the biggest minority in the world, women.

As I continue writing this piece the war goes on, and with it the atrocities in Kosovo and the bombing and desperation all over Serbia: Belgrade is sinking into bewilderment and questions about the past, doubts about any future…I wonder, what would a Women in Black standing look like today if the NATO bombs hadn’t united all the power and majority of civilians on one side whilst silencing the other, reducing it to invisible, useless dust…

The last anniversary standing of Women in Black took place on October 9th, 1998. It had a grave ceremonial character, on the verge of civil war, of the renewed threat of NATO bombs. All of Belgrade’s opposition intelligentsia were present. We went to the standing carrying our documents and small refugee bags; we weren’t sure what was awaiting us. The police were there, silently guarding the demonstration against aggressive passers-by who usually comment with dirty language and misogynist offences. The women dressed in black were standing in the ritual circle with long mottoes written on long flags whilst the new sympathizers and participants were talking among themselves: it turned into a very pleasant gathering, somber but bonding. I had a concrete feeling that an opposition existed in my town , in my country, and that Women in Black gave us form, public space and language. The conceptual action of this anniversary was a table with 100 papers on each of which was printed in big letters I CONFESS… Symbolically the first hundred participants wrote down their confessions: here is the poem I made out of those fragmented, sincere and painful words…

October 9, 1998 – 7 Years of Women in Black
We are all Women in Black
I CONFESS:
I, Jelena, 12 years of age, confess only to life
J’accuse
That in 1991 I was against war, and I am now
I simply confess
That I will never be loyal to these authorities and that I love Sabahet and Mira and Vjosa and Ana
To everything you wrote
That I am loyal to non-violence, solidarity, friendship and that I am disloyal to all forms of authoritative power, violence, hate
That I can no longer stand it and that I can’t take it anymore
That I have lived two lives, one in Sarajevo and one in Belgrade
That I did not wish for all that which happened to us, but I could not stop it
To all the charges, I confess that I am a traitor in every sense
That I am a traitor of the dominant militaristic values in Serbian society
That I will protest against all forms of violence, war and discrimination
That I sang Bosnian songs and danced Albanian dances throughout the whole war
That I hate war, violence and killing
I confess, but I also accuse
That violence in Kosovo cannot stop in the presence of the Serbian police. But it can with international forces which will allow peace and process of negotiation
That there is no way I will go to the army. Put militarism in the trash where it belongs
I confess that I will not give up my convictions, even if I wind up in prison
That from the beginning of the peace movement I have been an active participant in all anti-war gatherings
That I will organize yet one more anti-war campaign if you keep up this
bullshit
That I am European, a citizen of the world and that I am an irreconcilable
opponent to this regime
That I respect the human rights of the Other and that first and foremost I consider myself a citizen
That I do not recognize war, discrimination, criminals and hopelessness
That for seven years I have plotted against this Nazi regime
That I am bitter about the fact that the authorities in Serbia and Yugoslavia constantly wage war
That conflicts should be resolved through negotiation and not violence
No passaran!
That I read books, I like the theatre, I speak other languages, I like freedom of thought
That our life is peace and creativity and that I have been thinking about this and working on it since I learned it from my girlfriends
To everything and even more
To everything which is written on the panel
I confess
That of this current population you have the most principles. Thank you

Of one hundred symbolic sheets displayed with the heading I CONFESS on a stand on Republic Square for the one-hour protest of Women in Black, all were signed, and half of them had the above quoted texts written on them.
When I took the poem the following day to the independent daily “Nasa Borba” to be published, uniformed police were in the office. Actually, those were the last days of freedom of the press in Serbia, which was completely smothered by the first NATO bombs and martial law after ten years of what was authentically a development of a civil society based on freedom, if not anarchy, of press. Serbia was actually the country with the most definite potential for free press of all the former Yugoslav republics, notwithstanding the strong hand of the dominant regime. That it is all past, ten years of struggle, of tiny steps and searches, the actions of what was supposed to be a society in transition has turned into debris of democracy and civil society, visible in the debris of bridges, buildings, traumatized people…

I hurry to finish my text and send it by e-mail, the last means of communication with the rest of the world, because we are told the phone lines will be bombed very soon. It was supposed to be a different essay, before the world as it is took this turn…

Belgrade, April 30, 1999
After a night of heavy bombing

Dvadeset godina Žene u crnom, Srbija

Aktivistkinje ŽUC-a odgovaraju, septembar 3, 2011
Šta ti znači Žuc danas?
Inicijativa, mogućnost obnove vrednosti, beskompromisnost prema patrijarhatu; organizacija koja ostaje pri svojim osnovnim načelima; autentična aktivistička organizacija; put ka svetlosti, ka trajnom miru, ka jednakosti, ka pravdi; oaza, jedino mesto gde se osećam ispunjenom i potpunom; organizacija hrabrih, odlučnih, druželjubivih i odgovornih žena, feministkinja i antimilitaristkinja; mesto gde sam sigurna i svoja i autonomna; organizacija koja nam otvara oči u ovom mraku; feministička organizacija koja nije depolitizovana; poslednje ostrvo; početak mog aktivizma; solidarnost; pravo na pravo; nastavak mog aktivizma, otpor; život, motivacija, energija; osećaj pripadnosti sa ženama koje imaju iste stavove; suprotstavljanje nasilju; snaga, podrška; nedajmo se od svojih prevariti; deo mog života i moje prošlosti; mirovna, najozbiljnija i najrelevantnija organizacija u Srbiji. Najbolje organizovana i najmasovnija iako nas vlast ne voli; jedna od retkih NVO čija aktivnost nije kontrolisana novcem donatora; upornost; sigurnost; istina; pretvaranje besa u akciju; organizacija koja gradi mostove, ujedinjuje žene u idejama, beg od lažne stvarnosti; ona me inspiriše, motiviše, puni energijom i osećanjem da vredim i da sam korisna; himna žena u crnom koju smo slušale danas; mesto na kome razmišljamo o prošlosti, menjamo sadašnjost da bismo imali budućnost; institucija za zaštitu mira, dostojanstva, identiteta, ljudskih prava, razumevanje, toplina, znanje, razmena, davanje, organizacija koja budi ono dobro u nama.

30. aprila 1999. završila sam svoj prvi esej o Ženama u crnom , posle neprospavane noci, usred teškog NATO bombardovanja u Beogradu i ništa manje teške unutrašnje represije zločinačkog režima Slobodana Miloševića sa rečima: Ovaj esej je mogao drugačije da izgleda da svet nije krenuo u ovom pravcu.
Danas, 9. oktobra 2011. nastavljam sa te tačke. Žene u crnom slave 20 godina svog postojanja. Prilika za radovanja medju nama ženama aktivstkinjama koje slave radost aktivizma i svoje postojanje, ali takodje i prilika da se podsetimo kako razlozi našeg postojanja nisu još minuli: rad Žena u crnom iz Srbije, inače najvećem i najboljem ambasadoru u svetu koji pronosi istinu o postojanju one druge, časne Srbije, nije još postao sastavni deo društva, insitutucija i javne savesti. I dalje smo na ulicama, i dalje smo državni neprijatelji, i dalje Srbija živi bez dovoljno svesti i savesti o zločinačkoj ulozi srpske politike u poslednjih 20 godina. Izvesna aktivistkinja Žena u crnom iz Amerike rekla mi je pre neki dan, znajući da pišem ovaj tekst:
Iako možda zvučite opsesivno, imajte na umu da vaš rad o zločinačkoj prošlosti spada u najznačajnije aktivizam koji se trenutno dešava u svetu. Vaša upornost i metodi postaće priručnik za izgradnju alternativne istorije i za ostale.
A ovo su Žene u crnom iz Srbije odgovorile danas na pitanje?
Šta znaš o istoriji Žuca?

Tranziciona pravda ; antimilitarizam, mirovne akcije protiv rata; podsticanje građana i građanki da rade razne stvari; obelodanjivanje zločina počinjenih nad civilima i civilkama; suočavanje sa prošlošću, stajanja protiv rata; ulične akcije, stajanja na trgu ; posećivanje mesta zločina kao vid tranzicione pravde; stajanje; mirovni aktivizam, antifašizam; iskazivanje solidarnosti sa žrtvama velikosrpske politike; ženski sud; Srebrenica i genocid; svakodnevni otpor ratu i posledicama rata; kontrakultura; ; izlazak na ulicu i stajanja u crnini i ćutanju; zalaganje za drugačiji i lepši i pravedniji svet; stajanje za Srebrenicu i marš; podrška izručenju Ratka Mladića, pomoć Romkinjama i ženama ugroženim u ratu; pomirenje, feminizam; permanentno podsećanje na nepravdu; dokazivanje istine u nedavnim ratovima ; suočavanje sa zločinima počinjenim u naše ime; borba protiv rata, odgovornost.

Kao onog davnog 30 aprila 1999. godine kada sam pokušala da objasnim smisao delatnosti Žena u crnom u Srbiji, i danas, ne znam kojim pravcem će ovaj svet da krene, ali znam da ćemo mi i dalje biti na ulicama, na javnim mestima, sa našim telima i rečima koje moraju da se izgovore.

“To je simbolički provokativni način na koji žene, izlažući sebe i vlastito telo, izražavaju krik protiv rata želeći da probude savest.” Staša Zajović

Najvažniji momenat te savesti jesu ratni zločini počinjeni u naše ime. Pre svega, srebrenički genocid. Žene u crnom su već od prvih dana posle pogroma stupile u kontakt sa preživelim, uglavnom ženama iz Srebrenice. To moćno savezništvo i prijateljstvo, solidarnost i gradjenje alternativnih sprega protiv lokalnih i svetskih političara,ukljucujuci i Haški sud koji je nedavno uništio dokazni materijal žrtava, najveća je pobeda svetskog pacifizma na ovom tlu. Naši ratnici nisu uspeli da nas zavade.
Žene u crnom iz Srbije redovno posećuju sva mesta zločina počinjenih u naše ime: Srebrenica, Tuzla, Vukovar, Sjeverin, Prijedor, Omarska, Vlasenica, Lovas, Visegrad, , Štrpci, Bratunca, Zvornik …
Žene u crnom na svaku godišnjicu tih zločina opominju domaću i svetsku javnost da nije ostvaren minimum pravda neophodan za pomirenje u regionu. Žene u crnom redovno izdaju saopštenja u kojima prozivaju srpske vlasti, odgovorne onda kao i sada za taj zločin; u ono vreme zbog pokretanja nepotrebnih ratova, a danas zbog izgradnje nekog mutnog, neiskrenog nacionalnog identiteta.

Politička filozofija Žena u crnom nastajala je iz života, “pačvork metodom” Adrijana Zaharijević .

“Jer za nas, suočavanje sa prošlošću je prevashodno istina o zločinima i zločincima, ali i sećanje na otpor u ovoj zemlji. Nenasilan otpor…”
“Kao feministkinja znam kako je to samo produžetak kućnog rada, koji ima terapeutsko dejstvo ali nema transformatorski karakter.
Strašno mi je bilo stalo da nam ne govore da smo majke nego žene, da nismo tešiteljke i negovateljice naših sinova koje skrivamo.

Prvo protestno stajanje Žena u crnom na Balkanu bilo je organizovano u Sarajevu, 27. septembra 1991. godine. To je za mene bilo jedno izuzetno snažno osećanje, i telesno i duhovno.
Kad sam se vratila u Beograd, išla sam danonoćno da ubeđujem žene, smatrajući da je to najbolji vid borbe. I tako su 9. oktobra 1991. počele Žene u crnom.” Staša Zajović

Hana Arent je tvrdila da sud dovodi mišljenje u onaj prostor između prošlosti i budućnosti („sadašnjost kao tesnac“) koji je jedina dimenzija delovanja i predstavlja pretpostavku za odgovornost.

Da bi se pokrenula takva odgovornost neophodno je, prema Hani Arent, da se ima „široko srce“, to jest biti u stanju koristiti onu dragocenu sposobnost imaginacije koja nam dozvoljava da promišljamo našu budućnost jer smo propitale našu prošlost.
A oproštaj se daje osobi a ne počinjenom zločinu, jer ovaj ostaje neoprostiv.

Godine 2010. Žene u crnom poslale su pismo sa istim sadžajem na 15 adresa: akcija “Žene pitaju”. Pismo je poslato na adrese ministarstava koja se bave ili bi trebalo da se bave suočavanjem srpske države sa prošlošću.
Evo naših 20 pitanja:
Koliko je bilo civilnih žrtava u ratovima 1991-1999?
Koliko regruta/vojnika je poginulo u ratovima ?
Koliko ima masovnih grobnica u Srbiji i koliki je broj žrtava u masovnim grobnicama u Srbiji?
Koliki je broj invalida?
Koliki je broj izbeglica?
Koliko je bilo dobrovoljaca iz Srbije?
Koliko je muškaraca u Srbiji bilo nasilno mobilisano?
Koliki se procenat rezervista nije odazivao pozivima za mobilizaciju i koliko se rezervista skrivalo radi izbegavanja vojne obaveze?
Koliko je muškaraca odgovaralo pred vojnim sudovima za neodazivanje za mobilizaciju ili bekstvo sa ratišta?
Koliko je muškaraca bilo prekršajno gonjeno iz istih razloga?
Koliko je bilo pobuna rezervista u Srbiji? Koliko rezervista je u njima učestvovalo?
Koliko je muškaraca, uglavnom mladih, napustilo zemlju da ne bi išli u rat?
Koliko je izbeglica u Srbiji bilo mobilisano za rat i to protivno svim međunarodnim konvencijama?
Koliko je izbeglica bilo mobilisano po spiskovima koje su MUP-u Srbije dostavljali Crveni krst i Komesarijat za izbeglice Srbije?
Koliko je žrtava rata dobilo obeštećenje?
Kolika je materijalna šteta naneta vojnim beguncima/dezerterima jer iz objektivnih razloga (skrivanja) nisu mogli zarađivati za život?
Koliko je muškaraca vojnih begunaca u studenskoj populaciji bilo primorano da napusti studije?
Koliko je u Srbiji žrtava post-traumatskog sindroma/PTSP i koliko je muškaraca obolelih od PTSP izvršilo samoubistvo?
Koliko je žena pretrpelo nasilje najteže oblike nasilja u porodici od strane muških srodnika koji pate od PTSP i koliko žena doživljava svakodnevno nasilje u porodici od strane bivših učesnika rata?
Koliko u Srbiji ima žrtava kasetne municije? Zašto Srbija nije potpisala Konvenciju o zabrani kasetne municije?

Zahtevamo da se obelodane ovi podaci, da se skine pečat vojne tajne sa njih. Tek iznošenjm istine o svim zločinima počinjenim u naše ime, kažnjavanjem svih kreatora, nalogodavaca, izvršilaca zlodela i zločina protiv mira, sadašnje vlasti će početi sa oslobođanjem od tereta zločinačke prošlosti.
Mi znamo da je Srbija bila u ratu. Ukoliko se ne saznaju činjenice o ratu, u Srbiji će i dalje preovladavati klima koja je dovela do rata, u Srbiji će i dalje tinjati opasnost od novih ratova i sukoba.

A 2009. Žene u crnom poslale su predsedniku Tadiću sledece pismo:

Poštovani gospodine Predsedniče,

Obraćamo Vam se kao predsedniku Srbije koji svojim autoritetom može da utiče na ključne odluke i politiku države:

Naglašavajući da presuda Međunarodnog suda pravde obavezuje Srbiju da se jasno distancira od ratnih zločina;

Podsećajući Vas da je 15. januara 2009. godine Evropski parlament usvojio Rezoluciju o proglašenju 11. jula Danom sećanja na genocid u Srebrenici;

Ukazujući da je time, s obzirom na izraženu političku volju nas, građanki i građana, da Srbija bude deo Evropske unije, to postala i obaveza naših vlasti;

Izražavajući čvrsto uverenje da je poštovanje i priznanje žrtava najtežeg zločina među zločinima i početak izgradnje zajedničkog pamćenja u koje će biti utkane sve žrtve ratnih zločina počinjenih na teritoriji bivše Jugoslavije naša zajednička obaveza;

Z a h t e v a m o

Da podržite zahtev da se 11. juli i u Srbiji prihvati i obeležava kao Dan sećanja na genocid u Srebrenici i odavanja pošte njegovim žrtvama.

Žene u crnom stajale su povodom inicijative “Proglasite” od januara 2009 do juna 2010.

Pisanje alternativne istorije jeste zadatak nas feministkinja spisateljica, aktiviskinja i svedokinja stvarnosti koju živimo. Ono što žene vide i način na koji to formulišu uglavnom je kroz istoriju, pisanu iz muške patrijarhalne perspektive, ostalo nezabeleženo, ako ne i u domenu tajne. Kada gledamo u prošlost mi ne znamo kako su živele žene u grčkom dobu, ili za vreme rimskih ratnih pohoda; uglavnom znamo šta NISU radile, jer su bile nevidljive.

Žene u crnom su zato uvele ritual izveštavanja sa suđenja za ratne zločine počinjenih u naše ime i na našem jeziku, kao i pisanje dnevnika sa tih sudjenja: Škorpionima u Trnovu, zločin u Podujevu, u Suvoj reci itd. Sedeći zajedno sa porodicama žrtava, slušajući na našem jeziku zločine počinjene u naše ime, pišući na našem maternjem jeziku detalje i reči izgovorene na suđenju, dovodi do katarzičnog osvajanja jednog novog misaonog i političkog prostora u kome leži naša nada, ako ne i budućnost.
Ali nije dovoljno samo institucionalno suditi zločinima, već je potrebno i primeniti alternativne modele tranzicione pravde.

– Kreiranje novih vidova tranzicione pravde: do sada poznati modeli tranzicione pravde ne daju odgovore na složena pitanja prošlosti, niti su dovoljni za raskid za zločinačkom prošlošću, i zato je naš feministički pristup tranzicionoj pravdi važan izazov za feminističku teoriju i praksu. Pratimo suđenja zločinima počinjenim u naše ime, pružamo podršku porodicama žrtava, organizujemo diskusione kružoke, video-projekcije sa filmovima o zločinima, biblioteke na temu tranzicione pravde…

– Stalni edukativni rad: organizovanjem seminara, radionica, konferencija, kao i sakupljanjem iskaza žrtava rata, čija pisana svedočanstva prerastaju u neku vrstu alternativne istorije. Rat se pripremao dugo, u kreiranju vrednosnog i moralnog sistema koji je omogućio rat učestvovali su mnogi, tako da je za demontiranje tog sistema, a to znači otklanjanje uzroka rata, potrebno mnogo vremena. Bez stalne moralne refleksije među članovima i članicama grupe u čije su ime počinjeni zločini nema drugačije, bolje budućnosti. Zato je značajan deo edukativnih aktivnosti Žena u crnom posvećen upravo ovoj temi.
– Pamćenjem i obeležavanjem važnih činova i datuma nenasilnog otpora u Srbiji – ratu i zločinačkoj politici. Činjenica je da je srpski režim stalno proizvodio mržnju, ratove, nasilje, ali je takođe činjenica da je za sve to vreme u Srbiji postojao veoma jak antiratni otpor. I činjenica je da i danas u Srbiji postoji otpor kad je u pitanju poricanje zločinačke prošlosti.

Gradjenje alternativne istorije je skok u prazno za žene koje su vekovima ćutale i koje nemaju sopstveni jezik i tradiciju. Zato moramo da gradimo i naš jezik i našu estetiku .

“Moja crnina nije samo oplakivanje bliskih osoba, već svih žrtava ovog i svih ratova. To nije prepuštanje oplakivanju i tugovanju kao sastavnom delu ženske uloge; to je otpor ubijanju gradova i ljudi, nasilju u svakodnevnom životu, pobuna protiv militarističkog režima koji proizvodi smrt, nesreću, razaranje.” Staša

“Mislim da je važno držati se simbolike ćutanja jer tako naš performans dobija na rečitosti.” Ana

Ćutanje kao prostor drugih, prostor nenasilja.

Milica Tomic, konceptualna umetnica i saradnica ŽUC-a koja je pohodila marš mira, kilometarski višednevni put kojim su prosle bosnjačke žrtve, da bi potom napravila film o tome pod naslovom “Žene Srebrenice govore”, u produkciji ŽUC-a 2008.
Članice Dah teatra, naše pozorišne saputnice, više puta su režirale perfomanse Žena u crnom
“Hleb” (2004), “Ni kurve ni svetice, ( 2007), kao i pozorišnu predstavu “Ženska strana rata” ( 2009) po istoimenoj antologiji u izdanju ŽUC-a.
Konceptualna grupa Škart koja osmišlja vizuelne i grafičke perfomanse Žena u crnom: himna, kuvarice, stampana izdanja, posteri,izložbe, itd.

U spomen dezerteru: podizanje simboličnog spomenika pobunjenicima protiv rata jeste podsećanje na nenasilni otpor, priznavanje i slavljenje građanske hrabrosti i neposlušnosti.

Izgradnja trajnog spomenika zrtvama Srebrenica: Par cipela, jedan zivot”, gde gradjanke i gradjani polažu par cipela i fotografiju na javnim mestima.

Dekonstrukcija kuhinjskog prostora: Danas Žene u crnom upotrebljavaju formu „kuvarica“ kao jednu od najprepoznatljivijih formi vezivanja žene za kuću kako bi dekonstruisale patrijarhalni kuhinjski prostor i u njega počele da upisuju drugačiju žensku istoriju.

Muškarci u Ženama u crnom su dobrodosli.
Žene u crnom ne mogu da se definišu kao isključivo ženska grupa. Ali, šta onda odrednica Žene znači?
Ratni dezerteri gejovi i svi muskarci koji nemaju problem da kazu:

Ja sam žena u crnom.

«NE GOVORITE U NAŠE IME, MI GOVORIMO U SVOJE IME»
NE DAJMO SE OD SVOJIH PREVARITI»
NE DAJTE SE NI OD DRUGIH PREVARITI»
BITI ANTIPATRIOTKINJA
ŠIRITI POLITIKU ŽENSKE SOLIDARNOSTI –
PRIHVATITI ULOGU IZDAJNICA
GRADITI POVJERENJE
OSJEĆANJE KRIVICE PRETVARATI U ČINOVE ODGOVORNOSTI –
PODRŽAVATI DEZERTERE I PRIGOVARAČE SAVJESTI –
PODSTICATI ODGOVORNOST
PRESKAČUĆI ETNIČKE ZIDOVE I BARIJERE,
OSUĐUJUĆI SVAKI RAT,
ODRIČUĆI POSLUŠNOST NAŠIM HEROJIMA/MILITARISTIMA
POMAŽUĆI ŽRTVAMA RATA-
PERMANENTNO TRAŽEĆI odgovornost za rat i ratne zločine

Žene u crnom iz Srbije, u okviru svetske feminističke globalne politike Žena u crnom, ali i ostalih sestrinskih grupa, stoje solidarno uvek kad su u pitanju mirovne incijative protiv rata i diskriminacije svuda u svetu.
Kritične beleške kao i aktivnosti Žena u crnom povodom NAP- a (nacionalnog akcionog plana) za implementaciju UNSC rezolucije 1325 (Usvojena je rezolucija S/RES/1325 o ženama miru i bezbednosti 31 oktobra 2000. Ova rezolucija potvrdjuje važnu ulogu žena u sprečavanju i rešavanju sukoba, u mirovnim pregovorima, gradjenju mira, održavanju mira, humanitarnom angažovanju i post konfliktnoj rekonstrukciji i podvlači važnost da jednako učestvuju sa maksimalnim snagama u nastojanju da se obezbedi i održi mir i bezbednost) je detaljna analiza koja tretira problem nesigurnosti žena u Srbiji, kao i njihovo nepoverenje u vlast.

Više puta nominovane za Nobelovu nagradu za mir, dobitnice su svetskih i domaćih prestižnih nagrada. I dalje na ulicama, i dalje ozloglašene kod većeg dela domaće populacije – što govori o ozbiljno poremećenim vrednostima u srpskom društvu, gde je ženama dodeljena uloga veštica koje treba da preuzmu javnu krivicu i odgovornost za priznavanje svih zločina počinjenih u naše ime.
Fizički, verbalni i institucionalni napadi, kriminalizacija i progon rada grupe još uvek ne prestaju.
Naš rad i moto UVEK NEPOSLUŠNE je trajna politička i mentalna higijena koja nije na odmet ni zdravoj političkoj zajednici.
Bilo gde i bilo kada: Uvek neposlušne sa Ženama u crnom!

I na kraju, reči, što zenama ZUC-a danas padaju na pamet u vezi sa svojom grupom?

Nada, drugačiji svet, nenasilje, sigurnost; nezavisnost, borba, ponosna i jaka žena; , svi isti – svi različiti; istina, pravda, solidarnost; akcija, antimilitarizam,kriticnost, feminizam; uvek nelojalne, nepokorne, neposlušne; ulica; istrajnost, autonomnost; avantura, haos-kosmos; briga; otpor, zagrljaj; ljubaznost,
doslednost; hrabrost, uvek budne; istina, pravda, ; toplina, promišljanje; prihvatanje svih različitosti, cuvanje mira, mir i ljubav.

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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