Monday, September 11, 2006


It’s amazing how extraordinary events can make you remember completely insignificant details and forever embed an otherwise ordinary day into your memory.

I remember a cloudy September afternoon in Belgrade half a decade ago. Serbia was still enthusiastic and energetic less than a year after its conversion to democracy. Bitef, the theatre festival, was about to start, like every September, and after work (on the first serious job I ever had) I met up with a friend at a café in Kosovska Street to browse through the program and decide which plays to see. We made our choices and made our way in the weak rain to buy tickets. The ticket office was closed so I went home.

At home I found my transfixed family staring at the television and the surreal scenes from New York. I spend the rest of the day and night skipping from channel to channel in horror and morbid fascination, dreading the third world war which I thought would follow.

So what has changed five Septembers later? No WW3 for now, but, we live in a world which seems a little scarier and less safe. Maybe it is the same, only we are a bit more paranoid. I do feel, however that the world turned darker, more extreme, more repressive. Serbia turned darker too.

I have the disconcerting feeling that no lesson has been learnt from this terrible tragedy. Terrorism is no closer to being eradicated. Nothing has been done to address and prevent the reasons for its appearance. In the “democratic” world 9.11 has become yet another abused legacy of innocent victims - an excuse for human rights abuse and deepening prejudice.

1 comment:

Bg anon said...

Well I think life in Serbia hasnt really got darker - the problem is that it hasnt got any 'lighter'.

Optimism is a potent and sometimes dangerous thing. Look at the optimism of the most optimistic people on the planet - Kosovo Albanians. Talk about setting yourself up for a fall.

And its ironic that somehow in Serbia we are insulated from world terrorism. Its when you arrive in Heathrow, Charles DeGaul or at John Kennedy that you start to worry. Ironic in the sense of all the conflict that has been in previous years.

Have you noticed the way that every once in a while some moron in Serbian public life claims that we too in Belgrade could be targetted by terrorists? Usually some idiot from a supposed security organisation assisted by screaming headlines from that dark security service lobby Nedeljni Telegraf, Kurir itd.

I dont like to tempt fate but there is next to zero chance of something like that happening here.

Its petty of me I must admit but I wouldnt be too saddened if those supposed experts which claim that Belgrade could be targetted are themselves targetted by terrorists.