Gordan Paunovic on Sun, 5 Sep 1999 18:06:26 +0200

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from the Free B92 web site: http://www.freeb92.net

The current position of the former and present B92's publishing activities

When Radio B92 was suddenly shut down, in the midst of bombing raids and its
premises in the Dom Omladine building taken over by new editorial staff who
retained only the name of the station, not only were listeners  infuriated
and enraged, but readers as well. This take-over also brought to an abrupt
halt the radio's highly productive publishing operations, which were a
cultural focus in their own right.

Radio B92 had published books by Antonio Tabucchi, ("Pereira Declares: A
Testimony"), Alessandro Baricco ("Silk"), and Israeli peace activist Amos Oz
as well as the works of local authors.

After the closure, B92's journalists resumed their particular style of urban
broadcasting on Studio B's Third Channel. The books, however, remained in
Dom Omladine.

"We would love to have taken them with us," says B92 Editor-in-Chief Veran
Matic. "At worst we could have distributed them without charge. However,
this option is not legally possible. Radio B92 has exclusive publishing
rights to these properties. For the most part, B92's literary operations are
incompatible with the new management's philosophy and they are probably
anxious to get rid of them."

Aleksandar Nikacevic, the new editor-in-chief of B92 says that they are in
possession of some eighty or ninety titles: some of them are almost sold out
but there are large quantities of other titles in stock. "Sales have not
been disrupted," says Nikacevic, "We are working with a large number of
booksellers and shall continue to do so. Some writers have called us looking
for their manuscripts, but the contracts were removed by the old management
team. For the time being there are no funds for publishing, but new Radio
B92 titles can be expected in the autumn."

Veran Matic won't give up either. He is convinced that the books published
by the former B92 have become an integral part of the urban culture which
cannot easily be wiped out. While the bombs were falling translators were
working on books by Karl Theodor Jaspers and "Global Capitalism" by
George Soros. The literary magazine "Rec" (The Word) continued publication
on the Internet. New issues of "ProFemina" and a bilingual edition of "Rec"
can be expected soon. A book by Svetlana Knjazev Adamov is now in
preparation for publication.

B2-92 will launch new publications in October. Veran Matic predicts at least
two domestic best-sellers. B2-92 will certainly publish ten new titles
the Frankfurt Book Fair, in which the company will participate for the
fourth  consecutive year. They will also bring a number of world-renowned
authors to
their stand at the Fair.

"Our plans include publishing a series of some thirty books focusing on
general issues like truth, reconciliation, guilt and responsibility in the
aftermath of wars and the collapse of dictatorships and totalitarian
regimes," says Matic. "Prominent among these titles will be Karl Jaspers'
Guilt', 'Eichmann in Jerusalem' by Hannah Arendt, Arendt's correspondence
with Jaspers and a number of international studies on this subject. The
launch of this series will be accompanied by a number of media projects,
ranging form television programs to Web sites. A number of works under the
collective title "Transitional Justice" will be particularly interesting and
educational. These will discuss the establishment of guilt for crimes in
Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. A number of books deal with the
experience of South Africa and Chile.

"It is important that this edition takes root in the countries on the
territory of the former Yugoslavia and the whole region. This view is shared
by Freimut
Duve, the head of the Vienna-based OSCE Media Committee. Mr Duve will  help
us with preparations for the Frankfurt Book Fair; he has been
instrumental in launching this edition.

"Publications from the former Radio B92 may be found in bookstores in
Ljubljana and Sarajevo, together with other titles form the countries which
were once a part of Yugoslavia."

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