Back Belgrade - Next 

1996: Serbia Calling

Copyright © by Alan Grant
Pavement

From November 1996 to March 1997 Belgrade and other Serbian cities were rocked by major opposition rallies and daily demonstrations following an attempt by the Milosevic regime to steal the results of local elections. In the end the government capitulated and the demonstrators won, but the Milosevic regime was to survive through another war, this time in Kosovo, which lasted until October 2000. Since then B92, one of the few sources of independent and opposition news and comment on the radio during the wars, has become a major media corporation, with a national television frequency and a publishing arm. In his book on B92 Matthew Collin recalls the period of the demonstrations.

"At radio B92, the music spoke of hope and reached for victory, creating a feedback loop with the spirit of the streets: the lithe caress of St Etienne's Nothing can Stop Us Now; the inspirational charge of Curtis Mayfield singing Move On Up; the insurrectionary techno of Underground resistance, whose fearsome electronic rhythms called on the "brothers and sisters of the underground" to "wreak havoc on the programmers". B92's head of music Gordan Paunovic captured the mood: "Now people really feel they can do it, they can finally change things. The time has come."

The whistles and the drums, the uproarious racket which permeated the cityscape until long after dark, combined the Dionysian abandon of Brazilian samba parties with the hedonistic excess of rave culture which had recently erupted in Belgrade's clubs. "The whistle is used as a mood amplifier," suggested student protest organiser Lazar Dzamic. "A sonic doping, a satiny audio whip for the flagging muscles of the committed participants. Its very presence brings the resonance of a great party, a crowd with a common aim, totally positive, and an energy on the edge of control. "

This is Serbia Calling: Rock 'n' roll radio and Belgrade's underground resistance. Matthew Collin. 2001.
[pp. 107-8 / Serpent's Tail]

January 2007
Tim Judah

 Back Belgrade - Next 
  1. Istanbul: Pamuk's City
  2. Istanbul: Swimming across the Bosphorus
  3. Salonika and the Jews
  4. Salonica: Slaves and Trade
  5. Thessalonika: 1923
  6. Ohrid: Rise and Fall
  7. Tornado of Dust - 1944
  8. Awake Romania - 1989
  9. Novi Sad: Nest of the Serbian nation
  10. Nis: War Capital, 1915
  11. Belgrade and the Selenites
  12. 1996: Serbia Calling
  13. Belgrade Train Station - 1964
  14. Srebrenica: Vengeance
  15. Srebrenica: Blood
  16. Srebrenica: July 1995
  17. Mealtime - Interwar years in Travnik
  18. Dayton: The Napkin Shuttle
  19. London Buses in Sarajevo
  20. The Museum and Bosnian Identity
  21. Foča: The Bosniak
  22. Kosovo: The Swiss Front
  23. Mitrovica: 1908
  24. Pristina: Kosovo like Namibia?
  25. City without traffic - Pristina 1966
  26. Durham in Pristina - 1908
  27. Tirana: 1962
  28. Zog's Tirana
  29. The Kotor - Constantinople Express
  30. Kotor and the Montenegrins
  31. The Rabbi of Stolac
  32. Dubrovnik: England, Wine and Wool
  33. Cetinje: Nikola Under the Elm
  34. Cetinje: 1858
  35. Dalmatia: Ships & Grapes
  36. Prophet of Yugoslavism
  37. The head of the world
  38. 1919: Mushrooms and Lies
  39. Sofia: Bulgaria's Jews during WWII
  40. Zamfirovo: Rural livelihoods in the mid-1990s
  41. Kosovo
  42. Romania: 1914
  43. Istanbul: Food and the frugal Turks
  44. Micklagard: Surprising, cosmopolitan Constantinople
  45. Sukhumi: The history of the region became ashes
  46. Black Sea: The coming of steam and rail
  47. Mestrovic: Motherhood and the Victor
  48. Rizvanovici, Bosnia: Gnashing
  49. Down the Danube with Magris: Ruse
  50. From Pristina to Tskhinvali
  51. Serbia, Historians and Hitler's War
  52. Balkan Strongmen: Bulgaria's Zhivkov
  53. Sarajevo: The Siege Within
  54. Turkey: Osman's Dream
  55. Durres 1961: Beijing on Sea
  56. Cetinje: Eggs for the Ladies
  57. Bosnia: Land of Immigrants
  58. Ottoman Croatia
  59. Harem: All the Sultan's Women
  60. Sibiu: Regime Change, European Style
  61. 1929: The Balkans and the Great Crash
  62. Rumeli and how the Balkans became the Balkans
  63. 1948: Stalin, Kosovo and Swallowing Albania
  64. Transforming Turkey: the 1950s
  65. McMafia and the Balkans
  66. 1916: Serbia in Corfu
  67. Princes Amongst Men
  68. Limp Shevardnadze
  69. Knin: War and Suburbia
  70. In the Mountains of Poetry
Share: What are these?