insomnia on Wed, 31 Mar 1999 19:45:13 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> for nettime, serbian diary, part two

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 11:08:04

Sunday, 28 March. We are almost all the time on alert. Many civilian targets
shot and people, angry and unnerved, ready to make human shields all around
Yugoslavia. This is awful, barbarous.... 

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 11:20:04

Now I am writing online, since who knows when and how I can get the Internet
connection. Please, whoever reads this, do something to prevent this
apocalypse. By doing all this, NATO is endangering NATO countries first and
foremost. Do not expect to breath clear air when this war ends. Off the
record reports say that NATO throws cluster bombs, which are forbidden by UN
conventions, kill civilians, and a slight increase of radiation is reported.
Please, this is destroying Europe. Yugoslavia will die, maybe, but see that
this may be an inoperable cancer on the body of Europe. 

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 13:00:04

Peace protests are rising -- theatres will continue showing performances (in
day time, of course), and in Belgrade, there will be a rock concert every day
at noon. What else is there to do? The first waves of shock, fear and
frustration seem to be over. These feelings are replaced by spite -- now
people want to be proud and dignified. I myself do not fear that much, at
least in day time. 

Still, we have all become sound-sensitive. I jump at every sound and buzz, at
every door slamming. 

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 17:57:14

There was a magnificent concert in Belgrade at noon. Thousands of people came
with badges in the shape of target on their coats. They had banners saying,
"Sorry, we did not know it was invisible," referring to the fallen F-117A
stealth bomber. I was completely swept with emotions. No matter how deep and
serious our scars may be, people find strength to endure and to show their
energy and spite. After the first shock, a different feeling came, a flow of
vitality and strength. 

My depressive feelings wane. I see that people in my shelter are slowly
coming back to their senses. Nobody panics; women leave the shelter after the
all clear sound to prepare a quick meal and to manicure their nails, believe
it or not! After 21 hours of being on alert, this is hard to imagine. To be
sincere, I still sometimes mistake my heartbeats for faraway explosions. But
today I managed to find my facial wash in Mum's bags! 

Tomorrow, I'm putting my make-up back on again. I promise. Somber feelings
pervade when we hear of another medieval monastery damaged -- the monastery
Rakovica, near the town of Knezevac, was hit last night in its supporting
wall. And schools and kindergartens, which are also demolished, but their
images cannot be seen on CNN. 

"After the pain, a formal feeling comes," writes my favourite American, Emily
Dickinson. I adore teaching her to my students, especially the poem beginning
with, "Our lives are Swiss." Read it for me some time. As for the formal
feeling, that seems to be a vital exuberance here, in Serbia, now, in the
late 20th century. 

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 11:18:21

It's getting worse. Hospitals are bombed in Kosovo. Civil victims reported.
The condition is awfully bad there. Vojvodina -- so and so, more a kind of
psychological war. My friend from Sombor reported that bombs are falling even
when there is the all clear sound. 

But I keep my promises. I put my make up on today. Life goes on. President
Clinton gave his statement yesterday, followed by his dog. I wish it was his
only follower... 

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 16:13:54

"Serbs die singing," says a banner shown at a protest folk concert in
Belgrade. The concert started at noon sharp, and fifty thousand people came,
not fearing any surprise attacks from the murky sky. This is the second of
such concerts in a row. The slogans people carry are sharp and witty -- on
one of them, President Clinton was renamed as Bill Clitoris! The other says,
"Serbia is not Monica." 

I watch this on Serbian TV, live; I swiftly shift channels, only to find
monstrous discussions on CNN and Sky News in which politicians and warmongers
want to prove that air strikes are not enough and that ground troops are
necessary. I cannot believe this. Bombs destroy Serbian schools and
monasteries, apartment buildings and places for refugees, they kill Serbs
(and Albanians as well, since bombs and missiles fallen on Kosovo do not
distinguish between nations), in order to protect Albanian terrorists. But
NATO just can't get enough, obviously wanting to parch the whole country. 

In my email, there are numerous letters from abroad expressing support, anger
and bitterness. people send good wishes and lots of faith. The bitterness of
the Yugoslav people is immense, but the vitality and spite grow every minute.
Differences in opinions diminish, and people are getting together on the
simple basis -- united against the immense injustice done to Yugoslavia. 

>From today, when running down to the shelter on the sound of emergency
sirens, I'm taking books with me. Of course, books by authors from NATO
countries -- William Shakespeare, Gilles Deleuze and Heraclitus. I ran into a
wonderful fragment of Heraclitus today -- "sun is as big as man's foot." Sad
but true, some people think that they can stop the sun from shining, that
they can hide it. But the sun cannot be hidden, not even by a wing of a F117A
plane. Do not count on that. 

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