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Geert Lovink: from edi for the syndicate list

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Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 11:48:44 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <>
Subject: Syndicate: from edi for the syndicate list 

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:20:11 +0100
From: Edi <>
Subject: Syndicate: from edi for the syndicate list

      hi everybody, from edi in tirana.  my telephone was broken and i
couldn't read the post, but today it is fixed and i have been reading
throuhg the posting about "moral responsibility".  it is not the first
time i read posting of this nature in the list, but i didn't want to
really join in, because very easy and very soon the discussion might
become emotional, between albanian and serb point of view. but this time,
when the conflict seems to be over, and when more evidence on what has
really happened there, is being shown i found interesting the current
discussion, and decided to write something.  there's is a lot of argument
on NATO air campaign against Serbia. i know that everyone has its own
opinions and the right to express them in condemning or supporting this
action. i myself don't want to take any part in this argument, but being
albanian, knowing that out there is a defensless population being
slaughtered and even burned (as if slaughtering wasn't enough), i gave my
support to NATO intervention, even though i repeat i get involved
emotionally here. in some of the posting i read it is said that there
could have been done more for a peacful solution, starting from Dayton,
and supporting the peacful movement in Kosova. maybe this is right, but
this suggestion comes in a moment when Kosova is a burned land, full of
mass graves and most of its population walking for several months now.
while regarding the support to the peacful movement in Kosova, the outcome
was that about 10 years ago, Kosova lost even the scrumbles of the
autonomy it had during Tito time. it is true that before NATO bombing
started in Kosova there weren't 1.000.000 people living in camps, but
there were already a quarter of that amount displaced internally with
their homes burning, and i didn't hear any calls to stop it; there were
already 40.000 serb troops in Kosova that for sure didn't go in vacation
there; furthermore, a peacful effort, Rambouillet (i don't know how
realistic it was), took place only after masacres had already started,
months before NATO start bombing (it was Jannuary already when Racak
occurred).  i don't konw why, but i have a feeling that people that now is
condemning NATO's intervention, if that didn't happen would condemn NATO
for allowing the so-called "repetition of Bosnia". i know what it means to
live under a autocratic regime, in which alternative ideas might cost
one's life, since we have had that for long in albania. but i can not
accept the fact that during all these years and during all the months of
the explosion of Kosova matter, i didn't hear any single word >from any
serbian intellectual that at least expressed disagreement for atrocities
commited against inocent albanian population. and i am not speaking for
the period of three months ago, because the first masacre where children
and women were killed, occurred more than one year ago. well i feared i
would become emotional if i entered the argument, and so i did.  but there
is one thing i would really look for to have a profoundly sincere answer
(as much as possible), from my serbian friends (the ones i know personally
and others i don't). have you ever really considered albanians living in
Kosova as equal to you, deign to live the same life, to have the same
rights, exercise the same freedom? please take a moment to reflect before
you answer. this is a question that maybe has to do the moral
responsibility and that is rooted deep in the centuries. some years ago, i
never was able to understand what kosovar friends told me about their
relationship with the serbs and of what they went through in their daily
life, and i never took it seriously. it is only now that i saw what
happened (without never getting "why") that i can scarcely get what i have
heard from them before. therefore the above question is really important
to me.  it is important because i want to normally talk to my serbain
colleagues, invite serbian artists to tirana, i want serbian artists to
have shows in prishtina and i don't want to fear for their security. it is
important because we must find a common language, because serbs must not
flee Kosova (even though there are many cases in which it was serbian
neighbours that killed the next door people, as there are some cases that
serbian neighbours garded empty houses of their albanian ones).  this is
not a solution. this is the hardest matter on which we should focus now,
start thinking practically how to make the two live together without
problems. of course big deal is on the albanian side, and i can understand
if one goes back and find only the ashes and some bones of his kids, you
would hardly like to pretend that nothing happened.  but the serbs too
have to change a lot as well, and this change and the desire to live
together with albanians of kosova can start only if they change the way
they have always considered them; and i believe that this is a collective
as well as individual moral responsibility.  best to all, edi.