brothers again…

When civil war broke out in Yugoslavia, first in Slovenia (1991), Croatia (1991) and Bosnia & Herzegovina (1992) I was primary grade pupil. I didn’t understand what’s wrong and why Yugoslavia started to burn in war flames. My memories about civil war in Yugoslavia are related to my first neighbor. He was young man in early twenties. He served military service in Zadar, Croatia. News footage showed demonstrations in Zadar and attacks on JNA soldiers. His mother was so upset and she wanted to get any information about her son. She didn’t have a phone so she used ours. We were the only contact with the world for her. Luckily a neighbor was alive and well and managed to come home. But many people weren’t so lucky. The images from the battlefield became very common on television. We started to hear stories about crimes of “bloodthirsty Ustasha” or “drugged Muslims” against Serbian innocent civilians. Media under control of regime repeated hate words like mantra, hundred of times during one day. We were day after day under heavy propaganda assault while Yugoslavia fell down in economic, political and moral collapse. During “chaos war time” kids like me became Chetniks, the true Serbian heroes, patriots who will defend Serbia from a small town in central Serbia, few hundred kilometers from the frontline. Chetnik songs were popular. Ideology of Chetnik movement spread easy between kids also. We – the kids draw graffiti with 4 s (main symbol of Chetnik movement), we hated Croats / Muslims, Ustashe / Balije, never mind the fact that we never saw or met anyone from the other side of conflict. The only big deal was to hate. We – the kids from primary school were full of hate. My memories about Croatia were actually very positive. In fact my family just like thousands of other families from Yugoslavia spent a few days on the Croatian seaside. We visited one of the most beautiful cities on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik. It was during late ’80s (1988/89) and there was no national tension between Serbs and Croats or maybe I was too young to notice them. Nevertheless, few days in Dubrovnik still remind me on happiness and joy. The war in Yugoslavia ended with the Dayton Agreement (1995), but relations between Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and Croatia weren’t good. The echoes of the war were still present, the wounds were fresh. During adolescence under atmosphere full of hate and accusations between nations I discovered local punk heroes Hocu? Necu!. They had a song dedicated to the war in Yugoslavia called “Anti-war song / Stop the war”. Report from the battlefield full of hate speech opened song with a strong anti-war idea. That intro was true example of propaganda which was served to us during war. Lyrics with full of peace attitude was a real revelation for me. I was definitely infected with diy punk ideology and I started to follow development of diy punk scene in states which were part of Yugoslavia (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). One band changed my life for sure. It was old school hardcore/punk band Razlog Za from Kutina, Croatia. I wrote letters to people from newborn states which rose from the ashes of civil war in Yugoslavia. We wrote letters to each other, reading and doing fanzines, gathering and share information. In early 2000s I got fanzine “No All” from Croatia. I sent letter to the editor (Gajo) with my comments about his fanzine. It wasn’t so usual for that time, but soon I got fast replay. We became good (virtual) friends and often wrote letters to each other. I met Gajo for the first time in Belgrade, Serbia where Gajo toured with his band Lasting Values. Since that moment we became friends for life. In the moment when I was desperate and I need drummer for my band, Gajo accepted proposal to play with us, never mind the borders and far distances. After all bullshits caused by civil war in Yugoslavia, guns, tanks, burned villages, killed innocent civilians, war crimes, stolen houses, politicians filled with greed, nationalism and hate, Gajo and I became friends. So this song “Brothers again” is dedicated primarily to Gajo, my brother from Croatia, but also to all those wonderful people who we met over the years in ex-Yugoslavia region. A lot of people wrote about the war in the former Yugoslavia. However, there is still no consensus on the most important issues. Thousands of dead, displaced, raped, burned… We still try to find all the answers about civil war in Yugoslavia. Never mind the quest for answers, there is still thousands of people with completely destroyed past, present and future.

Vojkan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s