Chto Delat International issue no.1, entitled Transitional Justice, emerged as a cooperation among its authors and in connection with the recent production of the video film Partisan Songspiel: A Belgrade Story, during the summer of 2009 in Belgrade.
Our authors provide a contextual overview of a Serbian society in transition. During the last two decades, it existed as an isolated camp where everyday life was monopolized by corrupt politicians and ruthless tycoons. The catastrophe of the wars in the ex-Yugoslav countries, which unfolded as an act of mutual extermination, was followed by economic polarization and discrimination against a large part of the population, who ended up homeless and deprived of any state protection.
The collective Zampa di Leone has produced furious illustrations of hardcore Serbian realities. Novi Sad lesbian activist and Partisan Songspiel actress Biljana Stanković Lori discusses the autonomy of the LGBTIQ community in Serbia in her text “Through the Windows of Activism.” In his text “In the Waiting Room,” activist and independent writer Boban Stojanović draws a parallel between the Stonewall riots, which are seen as the beginning of the contemporary struggle for the rights of sexual minorities, and the Pride Parade that was planned in Belgrade forty years later. In his text “Beyond Monstrosity,” Nebojša Milikić, cultural worker and program editor at Cultural Center REX, writes about how mass crimes, such as the tragedy in Srebrenica, are perceived in Serbian society today. In “Antiziganism and Class Racism in Europe” Vladan Jeremić and Rena Rädle discuss the various forms of ethnic and class racism against Roma that have appeared throughout contemporary Europe. In “Why Do Partisans Still Matter to Politics?” Dušan Grlja, editor of Prelom, journal for images and politics, and a member of Prelom kolektiv, explains that the reference to partisans, communism, and socialist Yugoslavia, as well as the originality of their solutions, represents a “non-existing impossibility” that can provide a radical alternative to what was and still is happening in the region, which is now termed the Western Balkans in the dominant geopolitical agenda.
The term “transitional justice” has recently received greater attention by both academics and policymakers. It has also generated interest in the fields of political and legal discourse, especially in transitional societies. Transitional justice refers to a range of approaches that certain authorities may use to address past human rights violations and includes both judicial and non-judicial approaches. In the case of the ex-YU countries, transitional justice has been connected with International Tribunal for War Crimes and not, consequently, to other important aspects such as lustration or desirable institutional reforms.
Issue editors: Vladan Jeremić, Dmitry Vilensky
Authors: Dušan Grlja, Boban Stojanović, Biljana Stanković Lori, Rena Rädle, Vladan Jeremić, Nebojša Milikić, Dmitry Vilensky, and Olga Egorova Tsaplya
Translations: Marko Mladenović
Drawings: Zampa di Leone and Gluklya
Production: Biro za kulturu i komunikaciju, 2009
The publication of this issue is self-financed and produced with the support of the exhibition project re: ex-post. Critical Knowledge and the Post-Yugoslavian Condition, January 20–February 14, 2010, Open Space, Vienna, Austria.
A .pdf of the entire issue (in Serbian and English) can be downloaded here.