A roundup of Yugoslavia-related news for the months of December 2020 and January and February 2021.

New Monuments

A number of monuments and memorials took the media spotlight:

  • “Activists Place Memorial Plaques at Bosnian ‘Sites of Suffering’,” Balkan Insight, 2/15/21 – “Peace activists have installed plaques at sites where people were killed or imprisoned during the 1992-95 Bosnian war in the Zenica, Doboj and Zepce areas.”
  • “Kosovo Urged to Establish Museum in Child War Victims’ Memory,” Balkan Insight, 2/3/21 – Families of children killed during the Kosovo war who provided pictures and personal belongings for a successful exhibition in Pristina are now asking for a permanent memorial museum to be set up.
  • “Yugoslav-Era Caricaturist Honoured in Montenegro,” Balkan Insight, 12/15/2020 – “The mayor of the Montenegrin resort town of Herceg Novi, Stevan Katic, unveiled a memorial plaque on Tuesday honouring writer and caricaturist Zulfikar ‘Zuko’ Dzumhur.”
  • “Sarajevo Agrees New Memorial for Child Casualties of Siege,” Balkan Insight, 12/11/20 – “The planned White Room memorial in the Bosnian capital is to host exhibitions that highlight the suffering of children during the 1992-95 siege of the city, when hundreds of minors were killed.”
  • “Montenegrin Town Honours Soviet WWII General Zhukov,” Balkan Insight, 12/10/20 – The town of Berane unveiled a bust of the Soviet Red Army general Georgy Zhukov, which was donated by Russia, describing it as a symbol of “freedom and anti-fascism.”
  • “Croatia Unveils ‘Homeland’ Monument On Tudjman Death Anniversary,” Balkan Insight, 12/10/20 – “On the 21st anniversary of the death of Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman, officials unveiled the Monument to the Homeland in Zagreb, commemorating all who participated in gaining the country’s independence.”
  • “Tribute to Radovan Karadzic Removed after Daughter Intervenes,” Balkan Insight, 12/10/20 – “A plaque at a student dormitory honouring wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic, which caused a political storm, was taken down after his daughter Sonja Karadzic-Jovicevic called for its removal.”

Celebrity Deaths

The deaths of the ex-Yugoslav actress Mira Furlan and chansonnier Djordje Balašević sparked an outpouring of memorials celebrating their pro-Yugoslav, antiwar stance as well as a renewed debate about their respective legacies and remembrance.

Djordje Balašević

  • “The last farewell to Djordje Balasevic, the Pannonian sailor,” Osservatori Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa, 3/1/21 – “Djordje Balasevic (11 May 1953 – 19 February 2021), the greatest Yugoslav singer-songwriter, is gone forever. Almost all of former Yugoslavia joined in grief: Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Skopje, from Vardar to Triglav.”
  • “Thousands bid farewell to favorite singer Djordje Balasevic,” N1, 2/22/21 – “Thousands of people lined the shores of the Danube in Novi Sad to bid a final farewell to one of the city’s favorite sons, singer and songwriter Djordje Balasevic who many view as a beacon of free thinking not just in his native Vojvodina region but across the former Yugoslavia.”
  • “Legendary Serbian Singer Djordje Balasevic Dies Of Coronavirus,” Radio Free Europe, 2/19/21 – “The 67-year-old, who was also a poet and director, had remained popular across the former Yugoslavia after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.”
  • “Đorđe Balašević, Famed Singer-Songwriter Dies Aged 67,” Total Croatia News, 2/19/21 – “Đorđe Balašević was born in 1953 in Novi Sad, and his solo career as a singer-songwriter started in 1982. He released 12 albums, and his concerts were among the biggest events for his fans throughout his career. During the wars in former Yugoslavia in the nineties, he was strongly on the side of peace, against nationalism, fighting and killing. He was not allowed to perform in Croatia for years (his last concert before the war in Zagreb was in 1989, and he was quite attached to Zagreb as he spent some time living there), and his anti-war and anti-nationalism stance made him very unpopular with the political establishment during Milošević’s in Serbia as well. So, during the early nineties, it was almost impossible to hear any of his timeless hits on any radio stations in former Yugoslavia.”

Mira Furlan

Other Assorted News

  • “Ceremonies Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day Across Balkans,” Balkan Insight, 1/27/21 – “Political leaders and representatives of victims marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day with ceremonies and commemorative events in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.”
  • “Serbia’s Ethnic Albanians Fear Belgrade is Silently Deleting Addresses,” Balkan Insight, 1/25/21 – “Ethnic Albanian activists and other researchers are alarmed at what they say is a Serbian government policy of quietly rendering the addresses of minority Albanians inactive – with victims only receiving information unofficially and orally, making the policy hard to track and identify.”