Friday, January 21, 2005

Crossing the Old Lines

Serbian movies are making good business in Croatian video stores, Bosnian actors are main stars of Slovenian television, Croatian pop stars are popular in Serbia. This is so different from the past decade, when many serious intellectuals believed that it would take decades "if not centuries" for relations between former federal partners become normal.

One of the phenomena to mark this normalisation is To sum jas, Big Brother-style reality show which implicitly panders to Yugonostalgia among its fans and viewers.

However, when the show's producer Zoran Ristovski tried to be explicit with Yugonostalgia, it turned out that the some wounds were still too fresh.

Ristovski decorated To sum jas house with Tito's pictures, hammer and sickles, large Tito's signature and "Work and only work" – slogan used at the gates of infamous Goli Otok prison. The show hosts were supposed to wear uniforms of Tito's Pioneers youth organisation.

The show aired on Wednesday but only for Macedonian, Serbian and Montengrin audience. Slovenian, Bosnian and Croatian television refused to

air it, because "the show's purpose was entertainment and not politics".

Anja Alavanja, one of Croatia's most popular TV hosts, also refused to appear in Tito's Pioneer's uniform. site in the article reporting the story used computer graphics to offer its readers an image of what the viewers were deprived of.


Faced with the potential loss of advertising income from the Slovenian and Croatian – the most lucrative of all former Yugoslav media markets – producers of To sum jas have seen the error of their ways and decided to remove the controversial scenography.


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