Tag Archives: Serbia

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

New hope for the Balkans, New Formations on the Left

This is the text of a speech by Pavle Ilić – a sociology student at the University of Belgrade, a member of Marks21 in Serbia, and a contributor to LeftEast – that was delivered at the Marx is Muss conference in Berlin earlier this year. Pavle was on the panel entitled New Hope on the Balkan Left, which took place on Saturday, 7 May 2016. We re-publish the speech kindly produced by Pavle as a contribution to discussions on how to build the left in the region. Dear comrades, I would like to begin my talk by thanking the organizers of Marx Is Muss 2016 for inviting me to speak at this event. I w ..

Serbia’s election outcome: More of the same or worse?

Serbia held early parliamentary elections on 24 April 2016, the second set of early elections in just over two years. Serbian premier and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar Vučić, appears to have believed that, with the opposition in disarray, and his own popularity still sky high, he could win an even more resounding victory than on 16 March 2014. The election result, with 98.56% of votes counted, has dashed Vučić’s hopes. Percentage-wise, he almost succeeded, with the coalition around his SNS winning 48.23% of the vote, just short of the 48.35% two years ago. Votes-wise, Vuči ..

Montenegro and Serbia between NATO and Russia

In December last year, NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. That the invitation will have flattered the already over-inflated ego of country’s Prime Minister, Milo Djukanović, and his ruling clique, there is, of course, little doubt. Nevertheless, this was flattery to deceive, for as everybody knows, Montenegro’s voice in NATO will be like a whistle in a whirlwind.[1] To be sure, the invitation had nothing to do with the direct military contribution that Montenegro – a country with a populat ..

O Balkan Pioneers: Anatomy of an Escape Route

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article appeared originally on Antidote Zine and has been reprinted with the kind permission of the author. The images portray scenes in Serbia and Macedonia, December 2015, captured by unnamed photographers; please inquire before reprinting: antidote [at] riseup . net Q. 
Perhaps twenty years old, probably younger. Kabul, Afghanistan. At the transit point in Adaševci, buses arrive in clusters from points further south in Serbia: the border camps of Preševo (on the Serbian-Macedonian border) and Dimitrovgrad (Serbian-Bulgarian), or from Belgrade. In Adaševci, there is a ..

Between institutional and non-institutional forms of democratic organizing: Towards revolutionary change

This is the fourth and final instalment of contributions from the working groups that were set up by the Balkan Forum. The democratisation and participation working group consists of: Arlind Qori, Gal Kirn, Tadej Kurepa, Agon Hamza, Iva Ivšić and Suzana Kunac (coordinator). Introduction We build upon the conclusions of The First Balkan Forum – held in Zagreb (2012) during the Subversive Forum – that there can be no real democracy in the political, social or economic spheres if there is no workers’ control over the means of production in the workplace. Within this framework, the group tried to envisage th ..

Serbia: October 5th and the Student who Surpassed the Teacher

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article was originally published in Serbian at Mašina. Rs . It was translated into English for LeftEast by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. The commemoration of the October 5th Revolution on its fifteenth anniversary has been reduced to a marginal event. One public meeting, several round tables and an equally small number of statements and wreaths, were enough to generate a couple of boring media reports about the importance of this date. Few mourn before the faded image of October 5th, least of all the once divided political elites who today all serve the same economic elites, and ..

15 years since the toppling of the Milošević regime and why the Left should celebrate it

It is 15 years to the day since the toppling of the Milošević regime. In Serbia there is much disillusionment with the results of the revolution. But here are some reasons to continue to celebrate it. First, as Lindsey German showed at the time in the article posted below, industrial workers were central to the uprising that finally toppled a regime that claimed to defend socialism. This shows that even after years of economic crisis, ideological manipulation and international intervention, the working class remained a central actor in society. Second, and linked, it was the people of Serbia itself, not inter ..

#crossingnomore: “We have forgotten what it is like to feel safe”

by Caoimhe Butterly, source facebook A few kilometres away from the small Serbian border town of Sid, a dirt track through corn and turnip fields serves as passage to tens of thousands of women, men and children seeking refuge and lives of more possibility. The unofficial border crossing between Serbia and Croatia is surrounded by sun-lit verdant fields, apple orchards in the distance and a calm that brings temporary respite to those who have been on the road for weeks or months. The threat of militarised borders and recent memory of dehumanising conditions along the way is temporarily kept at bay as those walkin ..

“It was an illusionary expectation that in Europe we would have some rights and would be treated fairly”

Note from the LeftEast editors: this account by Caoimhe Butterly, currently in Belgrade, has been reprinted from facebook with the permission of the author. We spent last night in Belgrade’s main train station with families from Damascus, Aleppo and Deir al Zoor and a larger group of fellow travellers that they had befriended along the way. They (and we) had tried unsuccessfully to convince various hostels to rent them rooms and instead they slept on the benches and ground of the empty station. Shadia, a single mother of two young boys, stayed up chatting to us while her exhausted sons slept next to her. “Th ..