Belgrade – City no one will ever take away from us

NEWS 28.07.2020 16:35

The City authorities' decision to change the streets' names in Belgrade is the intent to destroy Belgrade from inside with chauvinism, proscription, differences, to kill its cosmopolitism, openness, uniqueness, sentiment, ethnic and social qualities, Pavle Jaksic, an author at the Vitraz website wrote.

Jaksic commented on the decision to rename streets in the capital named after cities and geographical terms from former Yugoslav republic „which are not welcome anymore,“ and give them new ones after those of friendly people and countries.

„The City authorities which physically and mentally have been destroying Belgrade has brought yet another decision by which it attempts to take away its essence,“ Jaksic wrote.

He described the decision as ‘the Balkan version of the Russian Roulette, the game called nationalism.“

„These hired prosaic tribunes want to turn a metropolis into a small town,“ Jaksic wrote, adding that „for that to succeed they need a collective lobotomy, not nazi geography.“

„The explanation of the decision reads: ‘The names of our cities are not at their (former Yugoslav republics) streets’ corners.’ Isn’t that what we should be proud of? Serbia’s, Bosnia’s, Croatia’s cities and their well-intended people have those places in their hearts regardless of boundaries, religions, limits you surcingle them with. That’s why those names are not just names; they are memories, history, friendships, love, habits.

I recall a quote from Rajko Grlic (famous Croatian film director) book ‘Untold Stories’: „I told him how astonished I was with the quantity of local intolerance, nationalism with another name. He comforted me by saying: ‘Rajko, remember, we are urban kids. It’s just strange to them.“

„We should put the names of those who love us,“ the City’s authorities say.“

„But, how will we carry out that ingenious venture when our brothers are only the Russian, Chinese, Belarus and Azerbaijan? Biryuzov, Zhdanov, Tolbuhin? Well, no, those „Russian communists“ have already been erased from the land register. But where will we put the Chinese? Their names are mentally impractical effort for the SNS people, and besides, they are communists.

There is not many Aliyevs; Lukashenko has rejected the death as the existential end in his wish to live forever. What shall we do? Who is left: The French, Italians, Spaniards: Victor Hugo? Which literary reciprocity we have in Paris? Garibaldi, and Garcia Lorca in (Belgrade’s municipalities) Zemun and Palilula. NATO’s s… from Aviano!…

If the history isn’t a whole, Rome will never be the Eternal City… Esposizione Universale Roma built by Mussolini is still where it has been because that’s a part of their history, the most shameful one, but a part anyway.…

The streets’ names have been changed before, and it has been wrong as well. Ideology has always preceded history — an atheist, believer, leftist, communist, nationalist. Someone has always been unhappy.…

To the extent it’s different, Belgrade suffers together with all its pearls. But no one ever took its soul away. …

There are enough of us in Belgrade to feel it as Sarajevo, Hvar, Mostar, Maribor and Split. Belgrade has no boundaries, time, place, expiration date. It is a surprise, oxymoron, contrast. As in Khalil Gibran’s poem – it gives and takes away everything, it crowns and crucifies, raises us to our hights… but also brings us down to our roots…“