Aleksandar Gubas on 7 Jan 2001 15:18:29 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: invitation for balkania-post yugo-south-east debate on nettime

With the permission from Geert:

-------geert lovink wrote:
> the new situation in South-East Europe after the Yugoslav/Serbian revolution and parlementary election. Is revolution a right term?

* * * I'm not too familiar with the definitions of the revolution. But
the 5th of October in Serbia was that kind of political change which
would be impossible if masses didn't swarm the streets. And if the
occurence of mass rebellion is enough to pronounce something a
revolution, well, that's probably it.

> Do you think that the 10 years of war, crisis and poverty will finally end?

* * * I believe there will be no wars in the Balkans any more. Some
guerrilla actions and police counter-actions will persist in and around
Kosovo for a while, but I don't think it has potential enough to induce
a new serious war. And Bosnia is likely to stay in peace, without hawks
in Belgrade and Zagreb.
But poverty will continue for years.

> how do you want want to continue this relation between nettime and the East?

* * * Considering the list itself, I think the East is pretty well
represented, as one of the important topics. But if there would appear a
group of nettimers willing to initiate some action outside the list,
like some conference or something, that would be OK.

> How could relative outsiders such as me and many more be involved?

* * * It's up to you. The true question is: what do you really want?
I'm sure that you don't mean humanitarian aid and stuff. :-) And if you
mean intellectual involvement, something of this kind can always be
arranged - it just has to be determined what, and what for. If I
understood correctly, that's what you actually asked.

> What kind of network would you now like to see emerging?

* * * Oh no, not networking again! :-)
Networking is a great invention, but I've become somewhat reserved about
it (too much fashionable noise, very few concrete results). Anyway, if
we consider a possible new network, there are two options: either a new
specialized discussion list to be launched, or an organization with
specified goals.
Of course, these two options can be combined. But let's continue this

> Should the West forget the region for a while?

* * * No, why should it do it? Questions which are to be answered here
in the region are the questions which will soon (or which already)
bother the West too. Just to mention the most recent hit topic -
depleted uranium weapons - which is only one of these questions (one of
those with minor priority, I'd say - there are more fundamental

* * * Well, the sense of your message, as I understood it, was a vague
idea that something should be done in the intellectual field regarding
the new and very interesting course of development in the Balkans and
the whole East, being considered as a part of Europe's and world's
I'd support such an initiative, but what I'm not interested in is
network just for network's sake, or just another hippie blahblah seminar
or conference. There must be some better ideas.
What seems the best idea to me is forming a kind of intellectual
committee or pool or whatever, for facilitating the East-West
communication, in the sense of avoiding cosy shortcuts in the problem
Shortcuts will kill us. The EU doesn't really know what to do with this
region, pours some respectable money in the region, and the result is
pretty poor. Bureaucracy should be loosed, true interests of the region
should be more carefully scanned, true dimensions of the problem should
be more bravely recognized. Pointing to those aspects should be the task
of such an organization.
Also, some things are happening now in post-'revolution' Belgrade that
make me worried about some principles proclaimed by those who are ruling
Serbia now. Protecting the principles should be another very important
task of such a hypothetical intellectual lobby.
That's an idea on what could be done. Apart from that, there will always
be some East-related postings to the nettime list.
With respect,

Aleksandar Gubas

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