Mihajlo Acimovic on Fri, 19 Nov 1999 01:31:50 +0100

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Re: Syndicate: REMONT

Now, don't get me wrong, your project has my support.

 >Aims of REMONT are to:
>- Produce high-quality programmes and through them change the image of
>Serbia as a conservative and stagnant place.

I don't know about conservative. From the viewpoint of somebody staying in Austria, Yugoslavia is fantastically liberal, free and openminded. But I do believe it is a very stagnant place. Has been so since 1992, at least. Some survivors from then told me how it was, watching your city die. I experienced it myself, in 1999.
I think that just changing the immage won't help to make it any different. Maybe first make it different and then the immage will change on it's own. Cultural workers can (as proven) change at least the first thing, conservativism.

>- Help young people to overcome xenophobia through international

Just speaking from experience with projects that have had such pretensions, how many young xenophobic people will the project try to involve in international exchanges? Or will foreign artists be brought over? But foreign artists are and had been brought over since the 1950s/60s. Especially American.

I once upon a time went to some camps called "School Of Peace", in FR Yugoslavia. Officially, that was when 10 workshoppers try to teach everybody else to overcome xenophobia and nationalism and also about human rights, civic rights and media representation of those rights. Needless to say, the camps were for young activists from ex-Yu. Most of us were already quite well acquainted with the subject. But truth is that nobody spoke alound the phrases "human rights" or "civic rights" at either of the camps. We needed nobody to teach us communication, we were communicating well ourselves. We needed that and it was very good that it was made possible for us. 
But some other people actually needed to go to a real School Of Peace and learn that. Nobody made it possible for them, because nobody wanted to waste time on xenophobs and stupid children. Everybody wanted to be in nice private elitist projects, under the pretence of work for helping the people. I have a feeling that your project is going to be just that. Very good and VERY needed. But don't lie to me, because I am your friend. Lie to the funders. They want you to.

I also remember the presentation of Kulturtreger, the magazine of PostPessimists Belgrade. It was done in the Barutana, Belgrade, including a film made especially for that. Expensive. Soros funded. Possibly half expenses by Norwegian People's Aid, but I think all Soros. Nice bunch present there - members of PP, friends of PP, authors of the magazine, artists, Antiwar Campaign people, etc. Altogether a nice crowd with even a few stray nationalists (not converted after, of course). A wonderful thing. I loved it. We all clapped - to our friends and aquaintances, who had made it. The xenophobs didn't come. They didn't see. There were none of the old street children from the Plato, who were so lost in life, open for any influences. Just "friends'n'family", so to say.
So, did it help young people to overcome xenophobia? Hardly. 
It was still a great thing. : )))

>- Organise educational courses and workshops in Yugoslavia and abroad.

Do notify me. I think I have some young people who are interested already. They are not xenophobic themselves, but I think you won't mind ; )

anti-hypocritical greetings and best wishes from


Angelfire for your free web-based e-mail. http://www.angelfire.com
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