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Zivojin Rakocevic
Zivojin Rakocevic

Zivojin Rakocevic is the head of KIM, a Serbian-language radio station in Caglavica village, just outside Pristina. KIM broadcasts to the Serbian community across Kosovo: it is an island of intellectual debate and dialogue for 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 broadcasts in December 2000, supported by the international community and donors like the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. Its programmes covers culture, musice and news.

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

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

What Zivojn misses most in Caglavica are the libraries, the intellectual debate and city life in general. Pristina is only ten minutes away by car. For Zivojin, however, it feels like a different country. Many Serbs who now live in villages like Caglavica – like Zivojn himself – have been displaced from their homes in Pristina.

"After the war in 1999 I left Pristina. Out of 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 an entire 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, 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 that I cannot go back, that my child can't go to kindergarten there".

Zivojin does not believe that Kosovo’s independence can change the situation for the better:

"It is very simple: Kosovo cannot be independent. There is, how to put it, a smoke screen 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 [to face] the problem that there will be no cooperation in the region."

May 2008

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