What is Balkan? - Answers 2012

Comments

Submitted by Ema V (not verified) on

A sad, sad region where people have been constantly manipulated into believing it justified to turn against humanity for great, abstract, often empty ideas. Killing is not a murder if it´s a war. Just come over and see for yourself.

What is Balkan? - A project by son:DA 2003.

Comments

Submitted by admin on

When someone mentions “the Balkans” the first things that spring to mind are 'chaos' and 'farce'. (Oliver)

Submitted by admin on

To me the Balkans is a geographical "unit".
From Dinaric Alps downwards. I also use the term when I talk about the architecture in Belgium and Belgium in general, since I refer to it as 'the Balkans of Western Europe'. Of course we're not talking about geography here. It has become a supposedly very descriptive metaphor, which is thought to signify a very special way of dealing with things, since laws there either don't exist or they have very little impact on the way everything is dealt with. (Sabina)

Submitted by admin on

Party.
Kebabs.
Local schnapps.
Beautiful women.
If I ponder upon it a bit more:
intolerance, unrest, landmines, poverty. (Goran)

Submitted by admin on

I won't explain what the Balkans is in geographical or historical terms.
In Slovenia we use the term 'The Balkans' or 'Balkan' in a non-favourable manor and it applies to just about anything.
If we say something is ' Balkan', we mean it's disorganized, irresponsible, fraudulent, chaotic...
Personally I don't agree with such a definition, since it's personal and downright insulting for an entire nation. (Milan in Manja)

Submitted by admin on

The first things that sprung to mind were burek, baklavah, dribbling, schnapps, the Turks, coffee houses, pride, spite, temperament.
Balkan particularity: Balkan pride.
Balkan people are those,
who are temperamental in that particular way <- an attribute?
(Boris)

Submitted by admin on

The first association: primitivism, then Bosnians.
When my mind kicks in: it's good music, the food, hospitable people.(Vlasta)

Submitted by admin on

The first association to the term 'the Balkans' would be: that god forsaken part of the world, south of us. That was the first thing I thought of.
But if you ask me what I know about the Balkans, my answer changes a bit. The first part of the answer is hidden in the first sentence – the Balkans is something we ourselves were and sometimes still are associated with by people who don't know better.
My memories stretch back for quite a few decades (for which – I mean the years – I'm not too proud of) and I know for a fact that we never lived in such an uncivilized world as those people 'down there'.
(Milena)

Submitted by admin on

A territory
a region
the people
the feeling
an emotion
a connection
the art
the good
Slovenian brothers.
Half the nation.
Yugoslavia.
(Luka)

Submitted by admin on

One could find a lot of associations to your question, positive and negative ones. To me personally, the term 'the Balkans' invokes some pleasant feelings, such as being carefree, warmth, life energy, open society...
The negative ones are quite rare, but when I think carefully, I'd have to mention corruption, aggressiveness, and undevelopment(primarily economical)...
(Emil)

Submitted by admin on

The first though would be: anything that has to do with sheep – pastures, a shepherd with a fur cap, a walking stick and a fur jacket. And he has moustache. Sometimes it strikes me as something disorderly, wild.
(Marko)

Submitted by admin on

...he has had to cross three international boundaries in order to reach Chicago. The United States of America has been Balkanized, has been divided into twenty petty nations so that will never again be a threat to world peace....
Any kind of an association is absolutely dependant on the moment. And at this particular moment I'm thinking of a scene from a slaughterhouse... small countries, a lot of different cultures and so many differences. Specificity. Spereotypes. Prejudice. Blood and war. The music. Fun. Spectacles with meat and alcohol...
(Jana)

Submitted by admin on

Well it is in my personality to instantly think of the sun, the sea, good chow (kebabs, fish), nice people, who know how to enjoy life (because they mostly don't need insulation on their houses). But I am aware of the fact that it's only my utopian, pre-programmed association, although it probably bares some truth.
(David)

Submitted by admin on

The country we were born in and in which we live. Geographically from Sava to the very core of the hard core with a hint of the most important eights of the rhythm.To most the Balkans still means fear instead of pride. One more Balkans = the miraculous Yugoslavia.AND RAMBO SAYS: I'm a Balkans boy and I smell of sweat when I become yours, I'm a Balkans boy...Balkan freedom – the freedom of time with one eight of situation X.
(Kolja)

Submitted by admin on

... glasses, beautiful black eyes, slowness, freedom from burden, self-irony, greyish-black colour, PATHOS, iron, a smile. A grinding stone, constantly grinding one and the same thing.
(Primoz)

Submitted by admin on

The first association would be 'here' and 'southwards'. Besides the geographical location (from the Ural downwards or whichever way it goes) when I think of the Balkans, I think of the culture,the way and style of living.Something relaxed, unburdened, lazy, careless, often dirty and untidy. The trumpets, the pistols, golden jewellery and absolute male domination.
Or what?
(Miha)

Submitted by admin on

The Balkans: geographically speaking it's obvious – the territory of conflicts
Otherwise the Balkans is a lifestyle, the Balkan mentality... everything happens in a moderate pace – the south... a specific (stereo)type of people... there, something like that.
(Maja)

Submitted by admin on

A romantic movie, happening on the road.
A war drama. A culinary spectacle. (Teja)

Submitted by admin on

The Balkans:Where the frisky spirit of the Baal deity still rampages and entices us into strange, indescribable mental states, so we often feel, we're actually being dreamt of. (Petra)

Submitted by admin on

Subject: .a question.
Date sent: Thu, 16 Jan 2003
The Balkans in an exceptional European territory, which played an important role in meeting of eastern and western cultures in the prehistoric times and the antiquity, but was deprived of many of the achievements and processes of civilization. There's something really tragic in this, and it is showing in the unfinished etnogenesis of the region and in the constant production of conflict situations inside the territory and in the neighbouring ones. As such it's a threat and a promise for Europe. Today it represents an ethnically unformed cultural territory.
(Nasko)

Submitted by admin on

The expression itself reminds me of the people of the territory ('the Balkans'), especially of their temperament, which is manifested differently in every nation, but is intensly apparent in all.
(Borut)

Submitted by admin on

The first association: summer in Bulgaria. And a few more thoughts: the house of my friend Saša, which is supposedly built on the very border of the Balkans, in a town Volosko, between Opatija and Preluka bay, the latter supposedly being the marker of the beginning of the Balkans (the eastern end of Istria). At least that was the way we talked about it some 15 years ago and it all seemed so magical (I mean the house, which is magical even without all the stories). As you can see, my understanding of the term 'the Balkans' is distinctively geographical and rather odd as such, improper, useless and undeserving the term 'understanding', but I turn to it intentionally, given the growing amount of social-mental-political definitions. In short – it's a reflex and a naive effort of returning to... the Balkans.
( Igor )

Submitted by admin on

... some time later...

do you still need responses to the Balkan-question?
If; I think of:the geographical area, old culture and recent wars and / or the political situation -which is rather complicated and need a good deal of knowledge of history to understand.
(Helena)

Submitted by admin on

When I think of the Balkans, I think of an environment with its own attractive characteristics, which used to capture the hearts of known travellers.
Exotic, the humour, spiced with cynicism and irony and temperamental women and macho men.
And just a tad bit shoddy. In the Balkans the radical nationalism quickly turns into a national cultural industry -turbo folk.
But most of all, the Balkans is a synonym for chaos,filth and, of course, foul language.
Why?? (Sasa)

Submitted by admin on

Srdjan Karanovic
Lordan Zafranovic
Goran Markovic
Zivojin Pavlovic
Ademir Kenovic
Dusan Makavejevc
(Jurij)

Submitted by admin on

For me "Balkan" is a pejorative expression for the culture or the countries in southeast Europe. The word "Balkan" represents for me all the prejudices against southeast Europe, it is dirty, tricky, dangerous, sexy, chaotic etc. I would not use the world without putting it into quotation marks. The discussion whether the "Balkan" starts at the Burgtheater or the Rennweg in Vienna is for me one of these typical cynical questions... (Hildegund)

Submitted by admin on

I Asked my friends as well and this is what cropped up:The Balkan peninsula.Anything south-eastern of Vienna.Onions.The Balkans is used as an insult.The Balkans is something negative.Criminality, corruption.Different rules apply there, which means that the rules of other cultures don't apply.
The war.
Different religions.
Disputes.
We don't agree on where the Balkans actually is. Greece isn't there but we can't agree on Turkey. As far as our company is concerned, the Balkans represents future and growth.
(Karin)

Submitted by admin on

What does the term 'the Balkans' mean to me?
The temperament, variety, undevelopment, the filth of urbanity and the cleanliness of the expressional cultural forms, a variety of social forms and unbridgeable frictions between people, who identify themself either by their ethnicity, religion or nationality. From these associations spring mythological foundations of many a national ideology and the bloody consequences of them.The term 'the Balkans' has been, by the first western travellers (16th and 17th century), who published a variety of traveller's journals, used to denote something wild, barbaric and different from their developed, clean, moral and whatever else they thought of their western values. The first time it was used as a geographical term was by a geographer, who was describing a mountain range. I believe it was an old mountain in Bulgaria.
'The Land Where Everything is Wrong' by Bozidar Jezernik is a book I strongly recommend.
(Ales)

Submitted by admin on

my French feeling: a "bal" makes me dance when the music is OK and "quand", it will be when ever you want and wherever: in the Balkan, Bamako or Kyoto
Happy Balkan
(Sebastien)

Submitted by admin on

Oh shit!
How can I answer such a question?
A lot of books have beenwritten on the subject, all of them a marketing attempt on something that can not be described.
Why do you want to know anyway?
(Jurij)

Submitted by admin on

Hearing the term 'the Balkans' I almost instantly get a geographical association of a territory, where Slovenia and Croatia meet. Then I also think of the countries, which are south of Slovenia (including Slovenia) – a territoryabout which I don't know a lot, because it has always been hiding beyond the line of sight. I also think of relations between Croatia and Slovenia (incomprehension, antagonism, noncooperation) and the problems on the border regions...
(Matej)

Submitted by admin on

"Need no coca, need no pizza, all we need is slivovitza"
(...written on a postcard a friend mailed from Belgrade last year)
...let´s have some of them some winter day...
(Clements)

Submitted by admin on

Well, it's been almost a week since I got your question and it's been on my mind all that time... I did a bit of asking around...
and...
An Austrian (Graz): says that the Balkans... Well no-one knew who or what it was before... then there was a war and the Austrians felt it too, with all the refugees pouring in... and that the Balkan mafia is stronger and more dangerous that the Russian one...
A Norwegian: he was in Bulgaria and flew by Balkan Air and he's really interested in this part of the world,
since it's really special...
very different... especially compared to the Nordic people... and therefore very attractive.
A Belgian: term... where's that again? Mountains near Russia, right?
An Italian: Transilvania is nice.
A Canadian: The Balkans – fire.
A Canadian 2: The Balkans – a war through the centuries...
nothing good, but not bad either.
Something entirely different and hard to understand...
An Englishman: I'll never understand why there's a war there and I believe there's at least a million people who share my opinion.
A Slovene woman: The Balkans has a negative meaning in Slovenia.
Like a foul word, although I think it's not.A Slovene man: I always fight my friends, who use it to denote something negative... the people who hate it most are those from the south... that complex is their own fault...
I, myself, am proud to be part Balkan...
Well, this is it...
I hope there's nothing I forgot... and here's my opinion:
To me, the Balkans means Yugo... and before I first went there, I believe I mostly connected the term with the war... but even my mom always told me that the Serbs are very courageous people and after spending almost a month with them in Belgrade... I have to say I was thrilled and when I say the Balkans now... it's like when the song takes you...
and all the films...
and some music...
thrill me and sometimes I think we lost something when we decided to split with our southern brothers... and their humour,
of course, and the attitude towards everything that's been going on is from my perspective... or better, judging by the people I met, is admirable...
But... in all this variety I was introduced to I'd have a hard time finding the right synopsis...
A kegger...
party...
life...
where there's only one...
that's what the Balkans mean to me...
love all, but stay who you are and be proud of it.
Sometimes these thoughts...
in some strange form...
find their way out in China as well.
It's just that the music is all wrong.
(Ana)

Submitted by admin on

To me: a sort of captivity between a binding tradition and joviality.
(Simona)

Submitted by admin on

The Balkans means to me...The Balkans reminds me of an old lady, named Marica, who used to knit small and large white rugs...The year 1986.
Loud planes, flying above me, while I was sunbathing by the public pool in Graz, and then I realized they were flying there to protect the borders.
1990 The Balkans... loud laughter and the Gypsies... and so much more... a lot of good friends of mine reached 'nirvana' in the Balkans.
That's it...(Johanna)

Submitted by admin on

Hmm, let's see: The first association is a ton of rocks... then blood and slaughter, vendettas and grudges... then burek, lepinja, sheep... bearded faces, alcohol and breaking of glasses, pathos, trumpeters and cash, stuck on fiddles, accordions and sweaty foreheads... turbo folk and delirious masses, TV Pink, babes in mini skirts and high heels... 'opa-cupa' macho guys, unyielding men, spite, 'we won't give what's ours and don't want what's foreign'? Beating the breasts, traditional hats, Mercs, some bar man, some chicks, Kozara, battle on Neretva, typhoid galore, youth, Yugo Koral, Crvena zvezda, Partizan, whatcha doin', I'll split you open, fuck off tosser, we'll slaughter the Croats, give us some salad, we'll get the meat, or something like that... I can't hear very well... I promise you, they will be captured and punished...Oh well... I hope it serves you OK.(Marko)

Submitted by admin on

It's some islands, or bits of land with a lot of sea mixed in. There are troubles that might be because of occult attachments...(Jon)

Submitted by admin on

The first thing that springs to mind when I think of the Balkans is a black hole, from which you can never distant yourself any further than it allows you.(Dunja)

Submitted by admin on

Dear Friends,
"Balkan" is a big island in Europe which has been divided into smaller countries.
(international animation festival)

mur.at
Graz 2003
Kunsthaus Graz
Das Land Steiermark