Sunday, February 04, 2007

Serbiality

For those of you who are wondering what this word mean, it is a combination of the words Serb and Wikiality. Wikiality is reality based on concensus rather than fact. So, I came up with the word Serbiality to define the Serbian reality (or realities), based on concensus instead of fact. So, for example, if Serbs agree that there was no genocide attempt by Miosevic in Kosovo, then there wasn't. Or, if Srebrenica didn't happen, then it didn't. Serbiality is hard to break through. Only the recent tape showing Serb forces killing young Bosniaks has forced Serbs to come to terms with Srebrenica.

I am writing all this because, Serbiality is very important for Serbia and the Balkans. And, I was inspired to write this by this piece of news:

SANU issues works on Kosovo

The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art (SANU) published a collection “Kosovo-Metohija – Past, Present, Future”. The government statement says the essays, available in English at SANU’s official website, have been collected from an international meeting held in March last year in Belgrade.The 39 papers by domestic and foreign authors are said to be “analyzing the Albanian impact on the destabilisation of the Balkans, the position of Kosovo within Serbia and Yugoslavia, Albanian secessionism in 1990, Serb and Montenegrin migrations from the province and the Kosovo population under the Ottoman Empire”.

For those that don't remember, SANU is the institution which provided the inspiration, justification and roadmap for the project of Greater Serbia which led to two genocides, ethnic cleansing and a lot of human suffering. Now, SANU wants to prove that it is the Albanians who destabilized the Balkans. This is where SANU and Serbiality mix. SANU has been one of the key producers and solidifiers of Serbiality. SANU's respect among Serbs, provides it with a sponge-like audience. SANU serves to confirm Serbian fears and claims purported by the Serbian government and media.

I have some topics to suggest to SANU for research:

The role of SANU in the destruction of Yugoslavia.

The genocide of Bosniaks and Kosovars.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went and looked at the SANU page:

http://www.sanu.ac.yu/English/News/kosovo.htm

It looks to me like the papers fall into three groups. One, there's mouth-breathing Serb nationalist crap, usually poorly researched and often overtly racist. The "Albanian mafia" and "Final Solution" papers fall into this category.

Two, there are a few papers by "useful idiots" from the West, like Diane Johnstone. These people were invited, I suppose, so that SANU could claim it was hosting an _international_ conference.

Three, there are a few gems in the muck. The paper on Kosovo's natural resources is good; I wish I'd seen it before my coal post. And the Michael Palairet piece is harsh on UNMIK, but equally harsh on the Serbian leadership, and appears to be well grounded in fact. It's worth a look.

The most interesting piece that I saw (I didn't read them all) is the one on "revisiting the truth", which goes back to the old mid-1980s study on Serb emigration from Kosovo. That study claimed that the Serbs were leaving for ethnic as well as economic reasons. Maybe! The study's origins made it very suspect, but on the other hand I never saw it convincingly criticized. It's history now, but not completely irrelevant...

Finally, I love the word "Serbiality". I hope you don't mind if I borrow it?


Doug M.

bytycci said...

Doug
I didn't look at all the papers, so thanks for your suggestions. The ones I looked at fell into the first two categories. But what can you expect from SANU!
I did read the one on the Serb migration. I must say, when they use words such as 'Ethnic migration' and 'revisiting the TRUTH' they put you off right away. This issue has been dealt with by more serious academics, in books about Yugoslavia or Kosovo. And the concensus is that people were migrating towards their mother republics - Bosnian croats to Croatia, Sandzak Muslims to Bosnia, Serbs from all over to Serbia - because of better opportunities. Albanians from Presevo valley have been migrating to Kosovo (Pristina) all the time. Was it for ethnic reasons, or because they had better opportunities there?

I don't mind at all if you use the word :)

Best
bytycci

Zli said...

Nice name, but I'm not such a big fan of generalization of any kind being applied to whole nations. Especially when SANU has lost much of its influence - their nazi papers will now produce as much eye rolling as calls to arms in the general population. Unfortunately, what you described does indeed exist in the "elite" (i.e. half-legitimate representatives of Serbia with quite unlegitimate messianic, father-of-nation and other syndromes). Too bad Serbelitality doesn't have the same zing.

Jonathan Davis said...

Love Serbiality (but it could as easily be Croatility or Albanility). It reminds me of Stephen Colbert's "Tuthiness":

"Truthiness is a satirical term invented[1] by Stephen Colbert in reference to the quality by which a person claims to know something intuitively, instinctively, or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts (similar to the meaning of "bellyfeel", a Newspeak term from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four)."

bytycci said...

Zli,
I agree with you. We shouldn't generalize. I wasn't implying that all the Serbs believe this. But there is a group of influential people who still produce this type of Serbiality and a large number of Serbain voters still want that.

Jonathan,
You're right, this exists in other countries as well. But I think it is more evident in Serbia. And it is related to truthiness :)

Thanks gor your comments
bytycci