How Serbian street art uses the past to shape the future – The Calvert Journal


In an attempt to put an end to this political ping-pong game, the activist group Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) reportedly made several unsuccessful requests to state bodies to have the mural removed. In November, they finally lost patience and announced that its activists would take down the mural themselves. This, as might be expected, enraged local nationalists, who said they would protect him by any means necessary. On the night of November 9, there was a standoff between the two parties in front of the fresco. Riot police surrounded YIHR activists, preventing them from both vandalizing the mural and being kicked in the head by right-wing activists.

But this is not the only mural dedicated to Mladić in Belgrade. there is at least a handful in the capital and much more through Serbia and the ethnic Serbian enclave of Republika Srpska in Bosnia. Songs and banners celebrating Mladić can be seen during football matches.

Many in Belgrade find his worship painful and unbearable. “Symbols which favorably represent convicted war criminals are intolerable in any civilized society. Ratko Mladić dishonored both Serbia and its army by committing crimes against a civilian population, ”says 28-year-old Marko Mihailović. He attended demonstrations of solidarity with two women who were forcibly arrested after throwing eggs at Mladic’s mural.

He attended the demonstration because “it was important for me to witness another symptom of the collapse of the rule of law in Serbia,” he said. “[That] could be seen in the hundreds of cops who were mobilized to protect a single graffiti – which in itself is a misdemeanor [vandalism]. There would have been no need to demonstrate if the municipality, city or state had fulfilled its legal obligation to remove graffiti and other symbols of hatred.


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