Mile Lasic for ‘Danas’: Before filming ‘Vicinities’
The Western Balkan project ‘Vicinities’ occurs for the sixth year in a row by connecting experts and citizens of ‘Western Balkan countries’ by vocalizing important European topics of discourse.
The project is supported by the European Commission, however it is not a cheap PR stunt, but a critical approach of ‘Eurologists’ and ‘Proeuropeans’ in the region, who are interested in this type of education. The charming host and editor of the TV programme Vicinities, Zvezdana Kovac, already recognized in the region as the face of the project, hosted a recent episode dedicated to the (lack of) political culture in ‘Western Balkan countries’. The topic of ‘Why is the Balkans all about politics?’ was discussed by myself, writer Balsa Brkovic and young PhD, D. ScJovana Marovic (both from Podgorica), as well as Vlado Varusic, journalist from Jutarnji List from Zagreb and Rade Radovanovic, co-founder of Danas from Belgrade. The topics Vicinities has been discussing for the past six years have been of great interest to me for over twenty six years: first as a correspondent from Western Europe for several media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (Danas, Helsinska povelja, Pescanik), and then as a professor of European Integrations at the philosophy department of the University in Mostar. This involvement was my own initiative, yet afterwards I went almost completely silent on the topics I wrote 15 books and countless articles, for example in Danas, Plava Strana… Vicinities should air in all former Yugoslavian countries and Albania in October. BHT1, the national television of Bosnia and Herzegovina, should air Season 6 unless its signal cuts off, as it has been in financial problems, its indebted channels being the supposed national televisions of Republika Srpska and BH Federation (RTRS and FTV), centrals of propaganda for dominant political parties in Banja Luka and Sarajevo.
The day before filming of Vicinities in Belgrade, I was having a pleasant conversation with Ivo Cvitkovic, an academic, near the City stadium in Mostar about good books and rare colleagues full of spirit and integrity, how prof. Djuro Susnjic must be. We mentioned him in the part of the conversation about unwithered totalitarianisms and how the forced narrative in all ‘Western Balkan Countries’ was focused on ‘communist crimes’, meaning crimes in the name of ‘class’ – ideology and politics. This had achieved the desired effect: suppression and ignorance of terrible crimes committed in the name of race (faith and nation). Susic’s book ‘Theories of culture’ is worth thinking about, particularly his claim that spiritual values are not part of the system, so we are faced with power without spirituality, or maybe even a clash of authoritarianism and democracy, as is brilliantly pointed out by Djordje Vukovic in ‘The Context of Political Culture’ (FPN, Banja Luka, 2014).