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Srbija 2020

Burn the Election Posters, Give Me a Park

I was standing on my balcony yesterday watching a load of guys plastering political posters all over my neighbourhood. I hate those guys. Or at least I hate the party that they represent. They stick them up there with no intention of taking them down and now my area looks like a slightly crooked political rosette. It’s not that my neck of the woods is particularly beautiful it’s just that there is enough graffiti there as it is. And for me these political posters are nothing more than that. 

It’s a rather sad state of affairs when political parties and even parties of government are involved in graffiti rackets. And such practices are hardly likely to discourage a graffiti problem already prevalent in the city. In fact, graffiti was the main negative that friends of mine visiting Serbia pointed out. Living in Belgrade and caring about the image that it projects I think that it is an issue that needs resolving. And the starting point of solving this problem lies not with dealing with the normal anti-social graffiti but with dealing with political graffiti. And I don’t think that there would be much opposition from the public just the parties themselves. I’m sure that most Belgraders don’t want some politician’s mug gracing their street for the next ten years. But what alternatives might be proposed to replace the usual stick and slap of poster campaigning? 

My suggestion would be for parties to spend some of their money on social projects rather than on traditional campaigning. Imagine a political party saying that rather than buying a thousand posters and two hours of TV airtime they would pay for a couple of incubators at the city hospital or for the rejuvenation of a park? And they would be able to say that even if they don’t get into power they will be giving something to the community. It might not work first time around, traditional campaigning has too much of a lead, but parties might be able to establish a reputation as a party of social action before elections, reap the electoral benefits and hopefully show themselves to be a party of even greater political action once in government.     


Ok, I shall be the first to put a comment :)
Now, it's one thing if you hate seeing the city plastered with posters of politicians smiling the best they can, some can't even do that. But it's something totally different hating the party they represent.
I hate seeing their faces wherever I turn, but that's a necessity during a political campaign. However, they should be obliged to remove all the posters of their parties once the elections are over, if not, be fined for that. But with so many things going on, so many burning issues, who is going to complain about some faces with stupid grins ruining a view from some balcony.
What I would like to see is this nation gradually changing its consciousness to a point where these things, such as clean city without graffiti, posters, etc, really matter.
Thank you for tryimg to raise awareness, but yours is European, and, unfortunately, we have still got a long way to go!
However, we should start somewhere.
As for giving a donation to a hospital, to me it would look too calculated. None of them would do it honestly, not without blowing their own trumpet afterwards. So I prefer to see them like this, with their faces exposed, despite all those amiable faces.


Every time I go to work I have to cross that bridge.

Two months ago, there was one message glued to the pillars, still dripping, watchfully reminding us of
...the evil fangs of...
and after that one yet another, jogging our memory about
...the victory of...
and then a fresh one, urging us raise our fists and heads against...

All of them, plastered one onto the other, creased, slightly slanted, as if someone was in a hurry, or maybe they are cross eyed, so they can never get it right.

All of them reminding, glaring through a pretencious smile and a fine row of impeccably clean teeth - you could almost mistake them for a toothpaste commercial, but your almost intact basic reading skills make sure you get the message - no matter how important the catch phrase is, there's always another one, and another one, and another one in this never-ending circle of losing our momentum.

And I always think
Oh, God, what a waste!
And a feeling of nausea suddenly overwhelms me - What a waste! And what for?

Who are you people, you hard-working magicians of the Kingdom of Glue, and you absent-minded on-lookers, you stand-by pioneers? Am I the only one who is mad? Am I the only one who is going to be late for work? Is it too difficult to stop, just for a moment and face the prospect of something meaningful, something that we'll actually benefit from?
Or is it that since time is money and teeth polished, the only thing we have the right to expect is someone's right not to wait for the results to take place, be recognized and appreciated?

You're talking about quite possible projects, the results of which, however, will not be seen in action unless we stop for a moment and think that maybe, we should be late for work, that the bridges we leave behind in desolation, bear witness to the flagrant disregard of a pulsating life.

Nice idea!

shame it's never going to happen, though :(


What's the big deal about graffiti? It's part of the grittiness that has drawn people to New York or Berlin, for example. People aren't going to visit Belgrade expecting quaint Euro-pretty. If they do, they'll be terribly disappointed even if all graffiti and garbage were cleaned up. I think there are much greater problems for the Serbian authorities to worry about....

Vlado, graffiti (toy

Vlado, graffiti (toy tagging) and street art are two entirely different things.

Nick, you should have seen the state of Kalimegdan four years ago, before the big sandblast clean of 2003 managed to rid the ancient fortress of its myriad "Bob woz ere" style tags.

graffiti and destructive youth

I see graffiti being used in Serbia mainly by younger generations who seem to be openly destructive of everything that has and holds historic or monetary value. During my trip to Serbia, about a month ago, I observed a 20 something guy walking sluggishly down Knez Mihailova and taking his cigarette out of his mouth so he could pop a beautiful red balloon that was placed on the top of trash can. How destructive, I thought. Minutes after observing this and pondering bits about it, I encountered a monument, also in Knez, representing the pull of gravity. This historical piece was covered by red paint, thus making it difficult for the observer to learn anything about its significance since the letters on it were barely visable. What a shame! It seems like younger generations in Serbia, or Belgrade precisely, lack to see the value and significance of such things. Everything that has meaning and is beautiful, must be destructed and/or destroyed. The same goes for historical buildings. Let's dilute them in spray paint and make them ugly. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenom?

Yeah, I've seen the same

I saw some teenage kids in my area with a spray can. A naive part of me hoped that it was deodorant.

I think part of the problem is that children are quite often spoilt here in Serbia. I never cease to be amazed by what adults let young kids get away with. I think that this new graffiti generation is a negative extension of this permissiveness. I am not suggesting boot camp, and agree that we have significant problems in England, but I think that environmental factors, particularly unresponsive or weak parenting are largely to blame.

I wish it was deodorant;)

I agree with you, (non)parenting definitely plays a huge part of it. Also, I think CFRY generations knew better while they were adolescents. They knew that there was a pretty well organized state that would punish such behavior. As well, they probably didn't have a need to express themselves in such a destructive way. Many of them travelled outside of CFRY and visited countries that were (are) more much developed and "civil", if I may. Another factor is the shift from the communal to the Western, or individualistic, mode of upbringing. During communism, parents heavily relied on the social and educational system to teach their chldren about manners. Today, it seems like, parents are still trying to rely on the old way and are having difficulties in grasping the dynamics of a modern individualistic culture. Also, lets not forget ten years under Milosevic and the various wars. I'm sure that these events have had an immense imapct. All in all, a lack of resources is the problem, I think;)