Young in Belgrade
By Martijn van Tol
What’s it like to grow up during successive civil wars? What is it like to live in a country whose territory shrinks faster then the latest mobile phone models? In Serbia, work is scarce, self esteem is at depressing lows and due to strict visa policy there’s virtually no way out. Dutch artist Annelys de Vet went to Belgrade to work with art school students on a mission to find out what it is like to be young in Serbia.
De Vet asked Belgrade art school students to design maps and flags of Serbia; not as it really is but as they see it. The results are shown in Belgrade’s underground art gallery Magacin. Its walls are filled with flags and maps portraying Serbia, for instance as a country that has become smaller and smaller until it remains a mere black hole in Europe.
Wounds and plasters
Other Football club-Serbs
From gloomy to ironic
Dusan Spasojevic was part of the student movement that overthrew the Milosevic regime in 2000. Eight years later not much has changed and EU membership seems far away. “Sometimes you feel like a second class citizen, for example when you have to wait in front of embassies and visa queues. We are being checked ten times at airports because we are from Serbia and not for example Poland.”
Spending some time with young Serbs makes one aware of the two images of the European Union. The one from within and the one from without. From within the EU looking outwards the world seems like a comfortable downward slope. However, standing outside and looking up its well-guarded walls forms a completely different view. For many Serbs waiting for EU membership is like waiting for death, it is the only certainty the future will bring, and you can wait for it to happen.