The other Serbia

posted by Julia on 2008/02/25 23:34

[ Serbia ]

There are other voices in Serbia than those voices of violence we are hearing and reading so much about these last days (cf. the Spiegel, cf. also this blog here and there). On 11 and 20 February youth and student associations organised anti-protests and round tables on the theme "There is no alternative to Europe" (cf. B92 article and the blog of Srecko Sekeljic, both in Serbian). The Youth Initiative for Human Rights, which - with offices in Serbia, Kosovo, BiH, and Montenegro - promotes exchange and co-operation between youth of the Balkan region, called for "the society in Serbia to face their errors of judgement, to reconsider the politics of the past few decades, to look back and draw the line underneath the decade of conquest, murder, ethnic cleansing, terror over their own citizens and the inhabitants of the region" and for Serbia's recognition of the independent Kosovo (read an excerpt of their article below): 

"Serbia is obliged to recognize the Republic of Kosovo. To give a hand of friendship to their legally elected representatives, to help them establish a modern, democratic society. Not because we are more advanced or cultured, but because we owe at least that much to the Kosovo society. And through Kosovo, we can open the issue of the society in Serbia. To reconsider all the illusons and false values, reform institutions, start creating a critical conscience in young people, to reverse the value system and set things in their place. Serbia must, from the mistakes of the past, learn the lessons which will take us to building a new society and a different future. By making violence legitimate and attacking people with different political opinions, the authorities are only continuing the old and already seen practice.

Those who think that they will destroy critical thinking and the need for different relations with the neigbours in this way, are sadly mistaken. The mass "events of the people" just take us back and create new mistakes which will cost us dearly."

You can read the whole text here



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All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
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