Wluml dossier 23-24 July 2001 dossier 23-34

Women in Black Against War, Belgrade

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Women in Black Against War, Belgrade
7 years of women in black, We Are Still On The Streets 9 October 1991 - 9 October 1998
I confess:

- to my long-time anti-war activity;

- that I did not agree with the severe beating of people of other ethnicities and nationalities, faiths, race, sexual orientation; - that I was not present at the ceremonial act of throwing flowers on the tanks headed for Vukovar, 1991 and Prishtina, 1998; - that I opposed the politics of repression, apartheid, massacres and war of Serbian regime against Albanian population on Kosovo; - that I fed women and children in refugee camps, schools, churches, mosques;

- that for the entire war I crossed the walls of Balkan ethno-states, because solidarity is the politics that interests me; - that I understood democracy as support to anti-war activists/friends/sisters: Albanian women, Croat women, Roma women, stateless women;

- that I first challenged the murderers from the state where I live and then those from other states, because I consider this to be responsible political behavior of a woman-citizen;

- that throughout all the seasons of the year I insisted that there be an end to the slaughter, destruction, ethnic cleansing, forced evacuation of people, rape;

- that I took care of others while the patriots took care of themselves.
On 9 October 1998 at 6:30 p.m. on Republic Square we will make visible our non-violent resistance to war

We Are All Women In Black!

Women in Black

This singular document in the form of extraordinary political public/private narration testifies to the complex interplay of the continuity of the violent culture against Otherness in Serbia, and the urgency for exceptional ethical mobilization of the individuals and political subjects. The exclusivity of this document lies in its “discursive loneliness”. It is one of the rare public statements that so strongly oppose the culture of exclusion. Moreover, this document transparently shows that the dominant taboo in the political/social life in Serbia is for years the taboo on respecting the Other: the “virtue” is exclusion, and the “crime” is inclusion of the Other.

It’s discursive loneliness shows the hidden effects of tolerated violence against the Other, and point out to the invisibility of the destruction of the personal and social fabric in Serbia. Therefore, the expression “I Confess” in the Women in Black’s document marks the fundamental inversion of dominant pro-fascist social codes, and at the same time, the articulation of the political sensibility which demands individual responsibility and public counter action. It shows how the basic intertwining of personal and political/historical in traumatic times could become an articulate feminist political action, although very marginal, but with powerful symbolic potential. It makes us aware that in the times when the culture of violence and exclusion becomes the “legitimate narration” there is exceptional need for the ethical mobilization of the subject, for the continuous self-reflection and self-narration. The other document, made by Belgrade’s Autonomous Women’s Center Against Sexual Violence during the NATO bombing of F.R.Y, is another example of feminist resistance to the internal fascisation processes in: against the “new” oblivion of the Other and indifference to the fate of Kosovo’s Albanians, the “narcissistic homogenization” of many Serbs under NATO bombs, the denial of the organized crime against Kosovo’s Albanians before and during the NATO bombing, and the final domination of the vandalist culture aggressive towards anything that is taken as foreign, western, un-Orthodox, non-Serb, mixed, civil, civilian, etc. But, above all, this document is not only a testimony of political and psychological effects of the NATO bombing, but even more a testimony of the reality under martial law promptly introduced the day when the bombing started, as the structural state’s violence aimed to paralyze every possible resistance to its politics of ethnic cleansing. Autonomous Women’s Center Against Sexual Violence Belgrade.

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