Jasmina Tešanović: The Day After / Kosovo


The Day After
Jasmina Tešanović

22.2.2008

The day after: the streets are suspiciously clean.
The local
government has taken care to obscure the shame of the
rioting,
because obviously, it has echoed around the world and
Serbia is once
again the leading news in the foreign press.

The Serbs, with their legitimate right to mourn for
the loss of
Kosovo, were transformed into vandals who loot their
own city. They
broke into many foreign shops, stealing off with the
foreign branded
goods, made by those powers which gave away Kosovo.
It's a greedily
practical turn to the famous "inat" and spiteful
defiance that Serbs
generally offer the world community.

Images and footage of the broken windows, burned
flags, demolished
embassies, and drunken teenage patriots is cruising
the world on
YouTube. Our newly elected president, who wisely and
rather obviously
retreated to Rumania during the ruckus, asked for
decent behavior
and peace last night.

Other participants of the rally have no such regrets.
The truest
"heroines" of this charade are two young blondes
filmed by candid
camera and posted on YouTube in a long snippet called
"Kosovo for
tennis shoes."

These wannabe global consumers are relentlessly
looting sports
clothes from broken windows and dragging them in heaps
through a town
in chaos.

I am not surprised, although the spectacle
of aggressive
teenage girls seizing loot at "total discount" while
coordinating on
their cellphones is like my worst fears came true.

And not only mine. Today on the streets I saw the
worried faces of
local people who survived the night of the "popular
rally" in deep
anxiety. Some other young girls -- they obviously
didn’t loot for
shoes -- were talking in low voices: there were not
enough police. We
are done.

The American embassy evacuated much of its personnel,
the German,
Slovenian, and Croatian embassies closed today their
consulate
departments.

No visas for bad Serbs, who shun the
world to be
swiftly shunned in turn. Police have arrested 190
people. The
impressive damage to the town is still being
estimated: burned cars,
destroyed traffic lights, burned apartments, smashed
shops. Five
hundred people were hurt, mostly Serbian riot
policemen. One Czech
citizen is in critical condition.

Last night during the escalating violence my friends
from Italy,
Norway and Kosovo phoned me: Nora from Kosovo offered
me her own home
if I don’t feel safe within Belgrade. Nora admitted
that it sounded

nonsensical, but it was a sincere offer.

One group of dissident Serbian students from Belgrade
wanted to join
in solidarity with students in Kosovo for a Kosovo
rally. The
peacemakers weren't allowed into Kosovo, though, being
"potential
troublemakers."

There is one known fatality: a severely burned body
was found
inside the vandalized American embassy. He has no
name, no face and
is probably a Serbian hooligan overwhelmed by his own
arson. The
latest victim of a lethal myth.

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Jasmina Tešanović is an author, filmmaker, and wandering thinker who shares her thoughts with BoingBoing from time to time. Email: politicalidiot at yahoo dot com. Her blog is here.

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Previous essays by Jasmina Tešanović on BoingBoing:

- State of Emergency
Jasmina Tešanović: Kosovo

- Christmas in Serbia

- Neonazism in Serbia
- Korea - South, not North.
- "I heard they are making a movie on her life."
- Serbia and the Flames
- Return to Srebenica

- Sagmeister in Belgrade

- Jasmina Tešanović: What About the Russians?

- Milan Martic sentenced in Hague

- Mothers of Mass Graves
- Hope for Serbia
- Stelarc in Ritopek
- Sarajevo Mon Amour

- MBOs
- Killing Journalists

- Jasmina Tešanović: Where Did Our History Go?
- Serbia Not Guilty of Genocide

- Carnival of Ruritania
- "Good Morning, Fascist Serbia!"
- Faking Bombings
- Dispatch from Amsterdam
- Where are your Americans now?

- Anna Politkovskaya Silenced
- Slaughter in the Monastery

- Mermaid's Trail

- A Burial in Srebenica
- Report from a concert by a Serbian war criminal
- To Hague, to Hague

- Preachers and Fascists, Out of My Panties

- Floods and Bombs

-
Scorpions Trial, April 13
- The Muslim Women 
Belgrade: New Normality
- Serbia: An Underworld Journey
- Scorpions Trial, Day Three: March 15, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day Two: March 14, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day One: March 13, 2006
- The Long Goodbye
- Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade
- Slobodan Milosevic Died
- Milosevic Funeral

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