In reference to the ever actual topic of the socialist television, its influence and the programs it has created, using the form of research dialogue, this paper aims to give a review of the recently published book by Sabina Mihelj and Simon Huxtable – From Media Systems to Media Cultures, (2018). Focusing on the beginnings of television as a new media, which developed in parallel with the Cold War tensions, as well as its impact at the time of the communist rule and immediately after the communist rule in the countries of the Eastern Block, this comparative media study covers the interaction of the geopolitical relations in this part of the world on the one hand, and on the other hand, offers a modernized view of the same media that has shaped the modernity of everyday civil life and the socialist culture and art. The book allows for re-contextualization of the opinions about the media and culture of the Cold War era (those that were rooted and most frequently adopted and repeated), and also offers a revision against the social, political and media framework that existed in the countries behind the Iron Curtain, both in the second half of the 20th century and in this particular moment.
The focal point of the article is the practice of using Yugoslav World War II memorials as scenery in music videos and fashion campaigns, as well as the controversies it raised in the social media in the past few months. Whereas some perceive it as commodification, fetishization and desecration, and regard it as abuse of such heritage in general, others support this form of using cultural resources and claim that it offers a new stage in the life of the memorials which had been destroyed or marginalized for more than a decade. The main issue arising from the ongoing dispute is that the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable mode of using the Yugoslav memorial heritage must be determined, extending onto the question of which authority should set these boundaries. In order to suggest a possible solution for overcoming the conflict, we have considered the causes for the increased interest in the memorial heritage of the former Yugoslavia and the issue of the conflict itself. Drawing on the distinct theories of heritage, commodification and cultural management, we advocate for a constructive critical dialogue that would include all the interested groups. In addition, the very opening of this dialogue would enable revaluation of the Yugoslav memorial heritage and hopefully prevent intensification of its abuse.
The paper examines artistic practices and effects of transposing both the symbolic image of Yugoslavia and the accumulated experience of living in it into contemporary fiction written in Serbian and published in Serbia during the second decade of the 21st century. The authors whose novels are discussed represent diverging memories and concepts connected with the country that is either irretrievably lost or willfully abandoned, but constantly longed for and therefore narrativized. Novelists Ivančica Đerić, Mirjana Novaković, Tanja Stupar Trifunović and Milan Tripković employ diverse mechanisms in their search for meaning within a paradigm of Yugoslav identity, which implied many different emotional responses and cultural concepts. Una, the main character in Đerić’s novel, is haunted by memories of a paradise lost, as she saw the breakup of Yugoslavia first-hand and emerged from it a cripple, both literally and metaphorically, because of her self-contained act of rebellion against it. Boldly dealing with traumatized protagonists whose feelings and mood swings are difficult to convey, Đerić and Stupar Trifunović refuse to abide to the stereotypical literary characterization and their narratives find their own ways to express the pain, anger, memory and longing, the same as Novaković and Tripković choose to focus on depravities of living in the post-Yugoslav transition. Displacement is too painful a condition to be simply shrugged off as a temporary crisis and the only way to rescue oneself is leaving the turbulent history of both the family and the homeland behind, yet returning to it with a renewed potential of both self-examination and suffering.
The aim of this paper is to present and analyse a history of utilitarian functions of today’s small exhibition hall of the Museum of African Art in Belgrade – The Veda and Dr. Zdravko Pečar Collection. Original purpose of this building was an artistic studio designed in 1952 for the famous Yugoslav politician and artist – Moša Pijade. Over five years (1952-1957), Pijade used this building as private working space where he also arranged a private event organising a private exhibition of his paintings, which was visited by Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia. After Pijade, this space was used by Yugoslav artists Zora Petrović (1960-1962) and Boško Karanović (1962-1975). Petrović painted a number of monumental canvases in the same space where Karanović later created a well-known facade mosaic for the Museum of Yugoslavia. Another change of function of this space occurred when Zdravko and Veda Pečar wanted to open a specialised museum dedicated to African arts and cultures. In 1977, during events which celebrated 45 years of Tito’s leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, the Museum of African Art was opened in the same place (with building adaptation). Up to this date, this space, located at 14, Andre Nikolić street, had a few different utilitarian functions. There were also a number of unrealized ideas – imaginary functions, which marked this space as a place of plurality on the cultural-political scene of (Post) Yugoslav space.
The paper examines the character of Yugoslav modernity in the socialist period, seen through the prism of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. Starting from the presentation of three special “visits” to this museum in the years immediately after its opening, certain characteristics of Yugoslav modernity are recognized. The main thesis is that the Museum of Contemporary Art was a specific generator of Yugoslavia’s image as a modern country, and that this concept is related to the general socio-economic conditions in the Socialist Yugoslavia. Hence the assumption that the three chosen “visitors” of the museum – Ivo Andrić (writer), Josip Broz Tito (president of SFRJ), and Nenad and Predrag (fictional twin brothers) – reflected in its inverse mirror, can reliably testify about specificities of the Yugoslav modernity in the socialist period: about its cultural and social paradoxes, political and ideological validations and individual and collective seduction.
Science had a very important role in the plans of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia after the Second World War and its coming to power. In accordance with its unlimited power, the Party had full control over defining and implementing science policy and over the work of scientific institutions and scientists. The control was carried out through state bodies and omnipotent Party Agitprop apparatus. Therefore, the autonomy of scientific institutions and scientists was completely repressed with universities, academies of sciences and institutes completely adapted to a new political and socio-economic system. To the end of the ‘40s, science policy in Yugoslavia was based on Soviet influences and models. But, after the 1948 Yugoslav-Soviet conflict, crucial changes occurred, soviet models were abandoned and scientific ties with the Soviet Union were temporarily severed. Since the beginning of the ‘50s, the Yugoslav scientific life witnessed some decentralization and liberalization, but still in the frames of unquestionable dominance of the Communist Party and its ideology. In that period, rapid development of science began, which led to more institutions, experts and equipment. During the ‘50s, an intensive development of international cooperation also started. In time, that cooperation became more and more intensive and oriented both to the East and the West, as well as to the undeveloped Asian and African countries. Since the ‘50s, self-management was implemented in Yugoslav scientific institutions. Also, decentralisation of the federal authorities’ competences in the management of science was accelerated and those competences were gradually transferred to the republics and provinces, especially after the 1974 Constitution. At the same time, the Associated Work Law from 1976 subjected the scientific work to the complicated and inefficient self-managing system. Despite new results and ambitions in the ‘80s, this system significantly slowed down development of science, aided by political and economic crisis, weakening of the state and approximation of its collapse.
The purpose of this paper is a search for verified non-ideological significance and an analysis of the reasons for public neglect of the event called “Congress of Cultural Action in SR Serbia”, held in Kragujevac at the end of 1971. The paper starts from the fact that the Congress was the biggest relevant event in the field of redefinition of national cultural policy in Serbia in the 20th century, whose content should be viewed outside of the ideological framework. The first special hypothesis is that the main reason for the institutional neglect of this event was related to the opposite political views; the other hypothesis is that the so-called “marginal events” were autochthonous and were not directly connected with the Congress; and the third one implies that the most appropriate type of oblivion of this event is what we could call “forgetting as a confusing silence.” The aim of the research is to determine the real picture of the events preceding, during and after the Congress of Cultural Action, its significance and the reasons for forgetting such an event. We relied primarily on the method of “oral history”, with an analysis of the content of secondary sources. The paper strives for recommendations that would define the importance of abstracting ideological assumptions in a study of content that has scientific potential.
This paper provides an analysis of how the Čik magazine, an entertainment magazine with crosswords, puzzles and games, became a kind of an informal youth magazine in interaction with its readers, and how it began to publish articles about social issues and sociopolitical problems, especially in 1967 and 1968, when it became the most popular magazine in the socialist Yugoslavia. On the basis of this example, it is concluded that the “mass” or “popular” culture in the socialist Yugoslavia could have been, and in certain circumstances was, a dynamic field for avoidance of domination and control, the field for negotiation, resistance and (sometimes) conflict, too. Finally, it is suggested that further research should be focused much more on the social dynamics of everyday life in socialism.
The position of women had changed significantly in the socialist Yugoslavia after World War II. However, despite the declarative and ideological equality between men and women, such equality was not reflective of reality. Women’s magazines which were an important part of the popular culture also testify to this. In addition to its entertainment function, women’s press, including the Bazar magazine, was intended to enlighten women. Women were required to be beautiful and attractive, and they were taught the roles of wives, mothers, housewives and the role of workers only to a certain degree. Domestic (household) domain was reserved for women, while public domain remained reserved for men. This paper will attempt to answer whether popular culture in the socialist Yugoslavia was liberal, and whether women’s press promoted freedoms or supported patriarchal ideology. The goal was to use the qualitative analysis method to analyze the first issue of the magazine Bazar and to prove that women’s popular culture in socialism emphasized pre-established gender roles, despite regulatory changes whose aim was emancipation of women.