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Zivojin Rakocevic
Zivojin Rakocevic

Zivojin Rakocevic is chief editor of the Serbian-language Radio station KIM in Caglavica village, just outside Pristina. KIM radio broadcasts to the Serbian community across Kosovo. KIM is an island of intellectual debate and dialogue for the younger Serbs, who feel stranded and isolated in rural communities like Caglavica. The team around Zivojin also publishes a monthly magazine called "Glas Juga" - Voice of the South.

Radio KIM started its experimental program in December 2000, supported by the international community and bilateral donors like the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. The programme covers culture, musice and news service.

For Zivojn Rakocevic, the political tensions between Serbs and Albanians are artificially created. He is deeply distrustful of nationalism on both sides, Albanian and Serb.

"It would be completely crazy to believe that we can not live together. When someone says, that certain people, certain people, certain groups are not able to live together, then it is not normal. It borders with fascism. So this is a delusion. I think that we can achieve integration in the Western Balkans only with common actions.

What he misses most in Caglavica are the libraries, intellectual debate and city life in general. By car, Pristina is only ten minutes away, but for Zivojin it feels like a different country. Like him, many Serbs who now live in villages like Caglavica have been displaced from Pristina.

"After the war in 1999 I left Pristina. From 50,000 Serbs before the war, there are now only 70 left, and they are old. I miss it - I am now living in a rural area. I miss the urban spirit, the library, the cinema, my friends. I lost a world when I left Pristina. I know a guy who hasn't left his apartment for a year and a half. Three years ago, a guy came to my radio station from Pristina. He said: "...every Sunday I listen to your religious show with my wife and I pray at the same time because I can't go to church." The church was burned down in March 2004, and that was the day most Serbs left Pristina. There is no great possibility we will ever go back. I ask myself, what stops me from returning? I pass a road that connects Pristina with Skopje, and it is usual for people to draw their fingers across their throats in a threat to kill me. That is enough for me to know I cannot go back, my child can't go to kindergarten there".

Zivojin does not believe, that the independence of Kosovo will change the situation to the better:

"It is very simple: Kosovo cannot be independent. There is, how to put it, a smoke veil created by Albanian nationalists and extremists. They have power in their hands and would like to reign all their life. This is what they consider to be independence. But the people will go into the streets and celebrate on the day of independence. They will shoot into the air and they will be happy. Then they will go to bed and on the following morning they will wake up in a dependent Kosovo. And that will mean trouble. Already on the day of independence they will have no electricity and no water. They will have no freedom to travel and they will have the problem in the region that there will be no cooperation."

May 2008
ESI

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