The Balkan Express: Fragments from the Other Side of War

By Slavenka Drakulic

In a sequence of gorgeous, impassioned essays, Croatian journalist and feminist Drakulic offers a really genuine and human aspect to the Balkans struggle and indicates how the clash has affected her closest acquaintances, colleagues, and fellow countrymen--both Serbian and Croatian. comprises 5 new essays no longer within the hardcover version.

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Already there have been disposable nappies and child outfits boutiques, collapsible child carriages from Germany and dummies from Italy. Later got here battery-operated autos - that was once a new release that already had too many toys - and color t v , pinball machines, video gam es, walkmans, denims, footwear, R ock concert events, M adonna, MTV. It was once like that during Vukovar, too. during this imitation o f a Viennese Sezession café, his existence unfolds ahead of my eyes in a superbly logical series that i will be able to keep on with 12 months through 12 months as though gazing my very own kinfolk video. until eventually six or seven months in the past, simply because that’s the place the motion picture ends. right here the thread that used to attach our lives unravels and splits. whereas I watch him mild his cigarette with a resolute gesture, a bit of frowning as though attempting to glance older, I back think horror pierce m e like a chilly blade: fairly, what if this have been my very own son? W hat could I inform him - now not at the present time at this desk while the struggle is nearly at the back of us, yet within the early sum m er o f 1991 in Vukovar? W hat may i've got performed, if in the future he got here to me and easily acknowledged, ‘M ama, I’m going’? O f direction, I w ouldn’t ask the place he was once going, that might were transparent by way of then, it can suggest just one factor, going to struggle within the conflict. I w ouldn’t also be shocked, might be i'd have anticipated it. W ith worry, with discomfort, yet I’d expect it. teenagers even more youthful than him are combating, the youngsters from our highway, an analogous new release. a few o f them are already useless. yet i'd however inform him to not pass, simply because this isn't his warfare. This conflict all started while ninety one BALKAN exhibit you or I weren't even born but, what on the earth makes it our conflict? disregard it, I’d say, no inspiration is worthy death for. yet it’s no longer an concept that this can be all approximately, he’d say, I don’t provide a rattling approximately principles, concerning the nation, approximately independence or democracy. T hey’re killing my pals, they’re killing them like canines on the street after which canine consume them simply because we can’t get to them to bury them. How am i able to sit down the following and faux that none o f this is often my enterprise? I comprehend, yet I didn’t deliver you into this global to kill or to be killed. Why do you retain speaking approximately demise? he’d ask reproachfully, as though it have been silly to talk about loss of life, it couldn’t take place to him, it occurs to others. O r as though he have been afraid that w ords had the pow er to make loss of life take place. You’re correct, I’d say, all at once scared o f my very own w ords, yet you can’t do this to me, you m ustn’t. depart, som ew the following, at any place, the others are leaving, too. You can’t go away right here, there’s no position to move, he’d say and that i might understand that I had already misplaced the conflict. You’re now not liable for w hat’s taking place; if someone is accountable, then it’s my new release - we observed what used to be happening yet did not anything to avoid it. It’s a warfare o f politics the place no one cares approximately casualties, a warfare began on the very best. all people other than the politicians is a loser. Mama, hearken to me, he’d say - back this observe, ‘m am a’, which now hurts m ore bitterly than ever earlier than - 1 recognize this can be chaos and madness, yet I’m not likely to run away.

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