They don’t (re)make them like they used to: Yugoslav covers of foreign hits through the ages

Although the now globally ubiquitous charges of “cultural appropriation”, have been a staple of inter-ethnic relations in the Balkans since times immemorial (especially when nations insist on their protochronism), they have never stopped the willingness of local musicians to draw from foreign music to create local hits which became treated as local folk songs. This phenomenon was best described in a 2003 Bulgarian documentary, “Whose … Continue reading They don’t (re)make them like they used to: Yugoslav covers of foreign hits through the ages

Da baklje nisu prestale da gore: Šta bi bilo da se Jugoslavija nije raspala?

Autor: Nemanja Lj. Jovanović U današnje vreme posebno je popularan žanr alternativne istorije, jernaprosto intrigira na neki način. S tim u vezi je i ova tema, ali ja sam mladiistoričar i definitivno nije u duhu istorijske nauke da predviđam i zaključujemdogađaje u budućnosti ili alernativnoj prošlosti. Kako je to scenario koji je višepredmet npr SF književnosti, možda bi to bio posao za nekog pisca. MarkoVidojković … Continue reading Da baklje nisu prestale da gore: Šta bi bilo da se Jugoslavija nije raspala?

Hidden Belgrade (59): Yugoslavia’s Crib

Due to many destructions brought upon Serbia, there are a few houses that have been standing long enough and have been important enough to tell the story of the country’s history (and various incarnations). Thankfully however, one of them is located bang in the heart of Belgrade, at Terazije. One of the first works by one of Serbia’s first starchitects, Jovan Ilkić, this Neo-baroque house … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (59): Yugoslavia’s Crib

Treats and Tricks: A Brief History of Serbia’s Favourite Sweets

Sweets are not the first thing you would associate with Serbia and, traditionally, they did not have a prominent place in the country’s cuisine.  In Serbia, the need for sugary treats was traditionally sated by plentiful fruit and preserves. Indeed, in one part of Njegoš’s epic Mountain Wreath (Gorski Vijenac), in describing his trip to Venice, duke Draško complains that the Venetians only subsisted on … Continue reading Treats and Tricks: A Brief History of Serbia’s Favourite Sweets

All The Belgrade Olympics That Didn’t Happen

Ever since their modern re-incarnation, the Olympics are an opportunity for countries to show off their wealth, might and cultural sophistication, all under a pleasant guise of global unity, fair play and athletic achievement. They are certainly the most enduring and spectacular pinnacle of Belle Époque intellectual trends from increased importance of sports in individual and social development (e.g. the Sokol movement), globalism, international competition, … Continue reading All The Belgrade Olympics That Didn’t Happen

Belgrade’s Lost Monuments

As a city which went through significant turmoils in its modern, post-Ottoman history – from brutal occupations in WWI and WWII to major political changes in 1903, after WWII and in 2000 – Belgrade has had its fair share of monument destructions, however mostly at the hands of its occupiers. Unsurprisingly, removal of monuments to the recent past happened most immediately after the Partizans took … Continue reading Belgrade’s Lost Monuments

An African-American Star in 1920s Yugoslavia

In April 1929, Josephine Baker was the first African-American star to visit Belgrade, while she was on her tour around Central Europe on the Orient Express. The visit came during her peak popularity in Paris, just before she made her hit „J’ai deux Amours”, and while she was still shunned in her native US, despite entrancing everyone with her dance and skimpy exotic outfits. She … Continue reading An African-American Star in 1920s Yugoslavia

VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

Opinion on Yugoslav pop music among Serbia’s intellectual elite oscillates between breathless adoration (in 1990s, when it was a sign of being “educated” against the onslaught of the ovelry maligned folk and turbofolk) to disgust (currently liking EKV, let alone Bijelo Dugme,  is considered a sure sign of pseudointellectualism and/or smarm) and back to ironic appreciation (Zdravko Čolić and Bajaga). As Yugopop was the soundtrack … Continue reading VIS Idoli and Subversion in the 1980s SFRY

Celebrating Workers in Belgrade’s Public Art

As Serbia and Yugoslavia moved towards a more industrial economy in 1930s and 40s the industrial workers, who had a rough time during the capitalist monarchy in Yugoslavia, started being celebrated in its arts. Although celebration of the life workers was most famously depicted by artists with socialist sensibilities such as Đorđe Andrejević Kun, whose album of prints Bloody Gold, depicted rapacious capitalism, idealised workers … Continue reading Celebrating Workers in Belgrade’s Public Art

Hidden Belgrade (45) Sava Centar: Yugoslavia’s Global Stage

When I asked Maja Necić from AUTORI, one of the leading contemporary architecture and design studios in Serbia, for any buildings that inspire her work, she took a pause and then immediately said: Sava Centar. Designed by Stojan Maksimović, one of Yugoslavia’s most promising architects who was in his 40s at the time, and built between 1976 and 1979, it was mean to be the … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (45) Sava Centar: Yugoslavia’s Global Stage

How Ivan Meštrović brought the Kosovo Myth to life

In 1911, Ivan Meštrović, a Croatian sculptor raised in Dalmatian backwater and educated in Vienna, who was hailed as one of the greatest of his generation and a successor to Rodin,  caused the first of many political stirs in his life. Instead of exhibiting his monumental, secession-inspired works to show the glory and grandeur of the imperial Austro-Hungary during the 1911 international art exhibition in … Continue reading How Ivan Meštrović brought the Kosovo Myth to life

Hidden Belgrade (43): Last days of Yugoslav socialist consumerism

While many emphasise worker-ownership or its non-aligned anti-imperialist foreign policy as distinctive features of Yugoslav socialism, for me one of the most striking ways it differed from the countries behind the “Iron Curtain” is its deep openness to Western consumerist culture. Indeed, if you ask average former Yugoslavs what the main difference was between them and their supposed ideological comrades in the Warsaw pact, they … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (43): Last days of Yugoslav socialist consumerism

Sećanja Gojka Garčevića na II zasedanje AVNOJa u Jajcu

Ovu priču o putovanju između Kolašina i Jajca na drugo zasedanje AVNOJa 1943. kao i utiske sa samog zasedanja, zapisao je moj deda, Gojko Simata Garčević, koji je bio jedan od delegata koji su tamo predstavljali Narodno Oslobodilačko veće Crne Gore i Boke. Moj deda je rođen u Nikšiću, 1902 godine u trgovačkoj porodici, a umro je u Beogradu 1967. Pre rata, on je studirao … Continue reading Sećanja Gojka Garčevića na II zasedanje AVNOJa u Jajcu

Pokretači #58 Dejan Vučetić o Olgi Jevrić – Kuća Legata / Beograd

Dejan Vučetić, kustos u Kući Legata, o Olgi Jevrić (1922-2014, velikoj legatorki i skulptorki čije je revolucionarno delo osvežilo jugoslovensku umetnost i privuklo pažnju Tate Modern-a. Pričali smo o brilijantnoj karijeri Olge Jevrić, promociji njenog dela i tome kako izgleda biti kustos i štiti nečije delo. Njena dela možete videti do sredine novembra 2019. u Narodnom Muzeju u Kraljevu, a planirano je i postavljanje njenih … Continue reading Pokretači #58 Dejan Vučetić o Olgi Jevrić – Kuća Legata / Beograd

The Many Charms of Yugohotels

Hotels and resorts of Socialist Yugoslavia got a lot of press in the past few years (two examples here), especially as every summer more and more foreign tourists are heading to its coasts and cities over the summer. This recent fascination with ‘Yugohotels’ is more than just due to the trendiness of the Eastern Adriatic coast in the past few years, or the hipsterish love … Continue reading The Many Charms of Yugohotels

Abramović, Žižek and Milanović: Yugoslavia’s First and Last Global Public Intellectuals

For a country that’s been dead for almost thirty years and whose contributions to the world, according to the Western prestige-press range from German Nazism to  Islamophobia in Australia it may be surprising that in the past few years, a number of Yugoslav intellectuals seem to have charmed their Western peers, and to be giving their fair share of insights into the current malaise that … Continue reading Abramović, Žižek and Milanović: Yugoslavia’s First and Last Global Public Intellectuals

Pokretači #48 Muharem Bazdulj

Muharem Bazdulj je pisac, novinar i prevodilac. Jedan je od najnagrađivanijijh pisaca sa prostora bivše Jugoslavije. 
Pričali smo o njegovim spisateljskim početcima, vrednosti štampanih medija, kao i o tome kako je biti “javni intelektualac” u BiH, Srbiji i šire, što je i jedna od tema njegovog novog romana: Kvadratni koren iz života. Continue reading Pokretači #48 Muharem Bazdulj

SpomenikDatabase: How an American Helped Preserve Memories of Yugoslav WWII Memorials

About a decade ago, Yugoslav WWII monuments were almost forgotten at home but started capturing people’s imagination around the world when Jan Kempenaers, a Belgian photographer, created his ‘Spomeniks’ (‘Memorials’) series, which included images of striking monuments at Kosmaj in Serbia, Podgaric in Croatia and Tjentiste in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His eerie photos of oddly-shaped memorials in dramatic settings attracted the attention of design and … Continue reading SpomenikDatabase: How an American Helped Preserve Memories of Yugoslav WWII Memorials