Saturday, October 06, 2007

Beyond Differences Documentary

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Owen said...

Interesting. It was encouraging that nobody seemed to have excessively ambitious expectations. As the gent with the red polo shirt put it, this was a group of people who met and got to know each other. In the long run I suspect it's that sort of low-key initiative that eventually bears fruit.

I was rather horrified to hear the comparison that people who come and go might be regarded as sort of tourists. Would the ?Australian have said that if he was talking about returnees to R. Srpska?

And on a very trivial note - do supermarkets in Prishtina really provide armchairs for their customers? Is this too good to be true?!

WARchild said...

1) One common theme, coming especially from the Serb side, is how big the prejudice is. It is shocking that the expectations are so low. What did they expect to find, monkeys roaming the streets?
For me the big challenges now are the Serbs from Gracanica and Mitrovica, not some hip young Serbs from Belgrade.

2) Calling Serb refugees tourists is insensitive at best.

3) I am not sure about the armchair. Though some of them are as good as anywhere else in the Balkans.

Owen said...

Sorry, I wasn't referring to expectations of Kosova/Prishtina, I meant expectations for the project.

Are there any attempts to bring the local communities together? That sort of project rarely has any headline-grabbing outcome but makes a difference in ordinary people's lives. It doesn't t change the memory of "what my former neighbour did to me" but a breath of real experience tempers the sort of fantasy expectation you criticise. I suppose it would have been too dangerous five years ago. Is it
any more feasible now?

The comfy looking armchair at the end of the aisle seemed to suggest Prishtina might consider promoting itself to the grey euro (unless the supermarket simply had a special offer on furniture).

WARchild said...

Gjilan region is the bright spot, Owen.

Drenica and Dukagjin regions have been badly hit so I don't think there is much hope there.

I believe that more can be done in returns in and around Prishtina and in Prizren.

Rahovec is segregated for no apparent reason. It's a case of Serb inertia and a little bit of Orthodox church's negative role.

On the Serb side, I don't think Serbs in Gracanica and Mitrovica have reasons to integrate. They get paid by Belgrade and are expected to pay it back by proving that integration doesn't work.

We should only look at the criminals for proof that Serbs and Albanians can work and live together. If they can do it, why not the rest of us?

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