Panel 7


Slavica Stojanović: Women Between Đinđić and Sugar
Feministička 94
I bear in myself the discomfort of 10 non-working days in Serbia. It was Easter, the holiday of a church which is in all senses politically incorrect and aggressive toward a civic state, as much as it denies responsibility for the war. May 1st holidays followed without real trade unions, without workers’ policies and solidarity.
I felt a similar discomfort in Croatia when as a supporting foreigner I realized that August 5th is celebrated as the day of victory. 
My short speech might be entitled Women Between Đinđić and Sugar. When Đinđić was assassinated, on March 12th and in the days that followed, smart reactions from citizens corroborated my experience about women’s resistance to war – people are much better and smarter when focused and responsible, worried and passionate. 
I came here from a hysterical country in which first you assassinate the prime minister and then you create affairs with re-selling sugar. This is the new face of war, or armed robbery. 
And the army, something I am very sensitive to since ‘82, the year of militarization of SFRJ, is currently undergoing transformation in Serbia. One woman from the region told our friend from Sarajevo, Nada Ler, that we do not need pacifism anymore, since we are now in the Partnership for Peace Program. I am afraid, really afraid that a set of hysterical countries will transform into a dull region.    
Of course, I am purposely speaking about this at a panel about women’s organizing.
When the war started I joined women’s groups and already found a thought-through policy against war, nationalism and all forms of discrimination. And I found an open space to combine the academic and the activistic, women of different nationalities, ages, education, social status, sexual orientation and much, much work. Big responsibilities. Much passion. Much learning and physical work. And the thing Staša Zajović calls creating new political imagination.
I can describe each moment, from the glance to the light. 
At a time when in ‘92. self-organized Swiss women burst into Belgrade to see whether there is anyone there shaking things up, I was already walking the streets like a ghost. I was standing with Women in Black and felt that no one is noticing us. My catharsis in the protest could not make up for the invisibility. The fact that they dropped in, those lively, curious women, created a feeling of re-birth within me, a huge existential experience. Seven years later, when my friends from Kosovo temporarily disappeared, I was taught the new possibility of emotional political rebirth – empathy with the invisible. From that continuum of experiences I can state that there is a precise science about war. Criminals could be tried by computers from that knowledge database.
I am not exaggerating those memories, and as much as they move me, I do not cling to them sentimentally, I treat them as a chance we gave to each other to learn. It is full of experience for serious politics, and above all, this experience has a focal point essential in all existences. 
I disagree with women’s groups who stick to their identities indisputably. I volunteer as a woman and I support the thesis of mobile identity. I disagree with large organizations that say – women are being tested now. I respect all women’s initiatives striving to integrate themselves through inclusiveness and I support all inclusive policies we are creating. 
I wonder how precise our political agenda is when we do, whatever it is we are doing, because it needs to be precise and it needs to be complex. I wonder how resilient we are to the things we react to most easily, when we are being colonized. Are we colonizing others? Are we able to give? 
How big is our desire to have a movement and how big is the fear and frustration of our countries when it comes to movements?  And does each of us know where the core of fascism in her own state is? 
I have been talking for a month already with a friend of mine and I am telling her – My thesis is about the consequences of precise positioning. Since she is smart, she nods her head and waves her hands; she understands the temptations and dangers. I know too, what it could mean, both personally and politically. I am not stepping aside because I have all this experience we are talking about today behind me. The same experience that moved things forward and gave more freedom and political imagination than many images of doubt ever could.

Panel 1

  Vesna Kesić: Gender Dimension of Memory – Gender Dimension of Conflict and Reconciliation

Panel 2

  Reana Senjković: Gender Images of War

Panel 3

  Tea Škokić: Remembrance as a Place of Self-Understanding

Panel 4

  Mojca Urek: Why do We Tell Stories: Using Stories in Psychosocial Work

Panel 5

  Mojca Dobnikar: Memories of Women’s Organizing

Panel 6

  Eva Zillen: We Need to Make Sure That Ten Years Work is Not Forgotten

Panel 7

  Slavica Stojanović: Women Between Đinđić and Sugar