[artinfo] [fwd] art attack on Mladic

Janos Sugar sj at c3.hu
Tue Apr 18 11:41:03 CEST 2006

At 11:26 -0400 06/04/17, International Justice Watch Discussion List 
<justwatch-l at listserv.buffalo.edu> wrote:
>[PHOTO]: Danish artists Pia Bertelsen (left) and Jan Egesborg in Belgrade,
>adding satirical stickers to pro-Mladic posters put up by ultranationalist
>supporters of the general.
>The Associated Press 14 April 2006
>Copenhagen artists challenge war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic with humor
>Associated Press Writer
>  BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro, Apr 14 (AP) -- No one has poked fun at
>top war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic quite like this before.
>  Two Danish poster artists set out this week to challenge the popular
>nationalist mantra here that the former Bosnian Serb commander was a hero
>who defended Serbs during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Their weapon -- light blue
>stickers with provocative messages.
>  "We know when you are having sex," read one sticker, typed in Serbian.
>"We know who you are talking to," "We know you have weak nerves," and
>"We know you are a coward," proclaimed others.
>  Hundreds of pro-Mladic posters plastered earlier in the week in the
>Serbian capital by a far-right nationalist group, showing a uniformed
>Mladic saluting, were an obvious target.
>  Artists Jan Egesborg and Pia Bertelsen scouted Belgrade for the posters,
>and glued their stickers on top.
>  The two, whose group is named "Surrend," seek to invite despots and
>war crimes suspects everywhere to give themselves up, but also call on
>the person in the street to surrender to humor.
>  Egesborg said that for Mladic, the message is: "It is over for him,
>he has no way out."
>  Mladic was indicted by the Netherlands-based U.N. war crimes tribunal
>on charges of genocide in the 1995 slaughter of up to 8,000 Muslim men
>and boys in the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. He is believed to be
>hiding in Serbia, sheltered by nationalist hard-liners in the Serb army.
>  Belgrade has been given an April 30 deadline to hand him over or
>risk a setback in efforts to build closer ties with the European Union.
>The government has promised to deliver Mladic to the tribunal, but is
>facing increased opposition from nationalists.
>  Well known in Denmark, Surrend's 2005 exhibition of posters at the
>Museum of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen criticized the "coziness"
>of Denmark's well-ordered life.
>  Egesborg says the group has placed stickers in Berlin, London,
>New York, the Swedish town of Malmo, and Baghdad, as well as ads
>in a weekly newspaper in Harare, Zimbabwe.
>  "We also go to hotspots, places artists don't normally go to,"
>Egesborg explains. "We do risky things but we don't want to stir up
>any violence. We use art to go against tyrants with humor, trying to
>show people we are fun."
>  Bertelsen has been in Belgrade several times since the 2000 uprising
>that toppled former autocratic ruler Slobodan Milosevic, Mladic's mentor.
>She says she can feel a growing disillusionment now -- in sharp contrast
>to the vibrant optimism of the days and months following Milosevic's ouster.
>  The "We know..." in each sticker is an allusion to George Orwell's
>Big-Brother-is-Watching-You theme, she said. "We are not political
>activists, all we want is for people to stop and think, maybe laugh
>a little."
>  In Belgrade, few laughed. Most passers-by stared uncomprehending
>at the Danes putting up the stickers.
>  "No one here will get the point, it's too subtle" said attorney
>Julijana Andjelkovic, 55.
>  Ana Ladjanovic, a 25-year-old Belgrade student, said the stickers
>were a "super idea."
>  "It was high time someone did something to those shameful Mladic
>posters," she said.
>  Others disapproved.
>  "They shouldn't meddle in what they don't understand," engineer Branko
>Odalovic, 48, said.
>  An angry former Bosnian Serb soldier, who gave only his first name, Sava,
>criticized the Danes. "I fought in the war, we were right to defend Serbs.
>I would fight for Mladic again," he said.
>  For their part, the artists were surprised at not seeing any anti-Mladic
>  "Where are the people who suffered, lost families in the war? Why isn't
>their voice heard," Bertelsen said. "Or is everyone just depressed and
>BBC News | Europe  Friday, 14 April 2006, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
>Danes launch art attack on Mladic
>[PHOTO]: Pia Bertelsen (left) and Jan Egesborg carry out hotspot art
>Two Danish artists who have ridiculed Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and the
>Iraq war have turned their attention to Serbia's fugitive Ratko Mladic.
>  There is still support for Mr Mladic in Serbia, and nationalist groups
>recently plastered Belgrade with posters of him.
>  But most are now covered with little blue stickers that read: "We
>know where you are"; "We know when you have sex".
>  Artists Jan Egesborg and Pia Bertelsen, say their additions are a
>fun way of saying that Mr Mladic's time is up.
>  Ms Bertelsen says the stickers are a way of telling Mr Mladic that
>people like Nato and the Serb government know where he is.
>  Mr Mladic is wanted in connection with the massacre of nearly 8,000
>Muslims at Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo in 1995.
>No party
>  But the actions of the artists, which they call "art in hotspots",
>has provoked different reactions on the streets of Belgrade.
>  "Reaction has been divided," says Ms Bertelsen, 32. "Half of the people
>say they think it is funny and brave and laugh about it - some asked us
>for stickers to give to their bosses.
>  "But we met a 19-year-old who says Mladic will never surrender and
>he is a Serbian hero.
>  "Another, who was in the Bosnian Serb army, said: 'Put up the stickers,
>but we will never let him surrender'."
>  The aim of their group "Surrend" is to invite tyrants and war crimes
>suspects to give themselves up, and to inject a little humour.
>  Mr Egesborg, 42, says they do not belong to any party or activist
>  Last year, he and another artist put up 1,000 ironic anti-war posters
>in Iraq - to get their message heard by ordinary Iraqi people.
>  The posters showed elephants, mice and cats together with messages
>like "Trust in Propaganda" and "Kill your Enemy".
>  He said they were in Belgrade for the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic
>and were struck by the lack of people demonstrating against him - or
>against Mr Mladic, whom the Serbian government has promised to hand over
>to the UN war crimes court.
>  "I think we can make a difference in a positive way because it seems
>people in Serbia are quite depressed about the situation," he said.
>"We are hoping we can inspire people to get on the streets and protest
>like they did a few years ago."

More information about the Artinfo mailing list