New Internationalist

This is Serbia Calling

June 2001

‘Welcome to the surreal life. A city where everything is permitted and nothing is permitted… where everything appears normal but nothing is as it seems. Welcome to Belgrade, city of chaos.’ So begins Matthew Collin’s fast-paced and engaging narrative of Belgrade’s descent from a vibrant and progressive central European city with a thriving club culture, to a paranoid and introspective place of survivalist capitalism run by gangsters and psychotics.

Central to this history of a decade of repression and war, riots and NATO bombing, is the story of the radio station B92, which grew from a shambolic student station to one of the focal points of resistance to the regime. Under the inspired leadership of Veran Matiç, B92’s anarchic mix of rock music, political reports and satirical stunts survived raids, censorship and even the wholesale confiscation of equipment and premises to continue broadcasting. The station’s endurance against all the odds and its grimly humorous determination to dance on the edge of the volcano gave the lie to the regime’s xenophobic propaganda. B92 helped a ‘lost generation’ find its voice and, in the darkest times, kept open a window to a more just way of life.

There are many books analyzing Miloseviç’s shrunken and thuggish empire but few have reported so vividly from the heart of the Serbian people’s nightmarish journey of alternating hope and despair, accommodation and resistance, that led to the day in October 2000 when they rid themselves of the demagogue and could finally proclaim the truth of their slogan: ‘He is finished!’

Peter Whittaker

Email: [email protected]>

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 335 This column was published in the June 2001 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on This is Serbia Calling

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

This is Serbia Calling Fact File
Product information by Matthew Collin
Star rating4
Publisher Serpent’s Tail
Product number ISBN 1 85242 682 9

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Books

All Books

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 335

New Internationalist Magazine issue 335
Issue 335

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.