Friday, November 25, 2005

First As Tragedy, Then As Beauty Pageant

The Gazette is still rubbing its eyes at the news, from the Novi Sad tabloid Svet via Croatia's Index, that the hot-chocolate-wrestling impresario Slavko Adamović is to organise a Miss Partisan beauty contest in Požarevac to mark Dan Republike, the national day of Titoist Yugoslavia still celebrated by purveyors of kitsch nostalgia (and by Zabranjeno pušenje, too).

President of the jury will be the Serbian actor Bata Živojinović, famous for playing the title role of a Partisan leader in a 1972 WW2 Yugo-epic called Valter brani Sarajevo (Valter defends Sarajevo). According to Aleksandar Hemon in the Village Voice, the film is apparently a favourite of Ničija zemlja director Denis Tanovič.

Požarevac supporters of the Serbian royalist Četnik movement, serious rivals to the Communist Partisans until their dismantling by Tito in 1945-6, are not to be outdone. So, as soon as they can find enough cockades for the girls' woollen caps, they are going to organise Miss Četnik.

Charshija Queen, meanwhile, is reporting another Miss Partisan contest in Smederevo. Indirectly, Tijana Dapčević, the Budva Festival, and her Yugo-kitsch performance of Sve je isto samo Njega nema have got to be to blame for this.

Svet comments that 'maybe the men from Nacionalni Stroj [the far-right group who recently attacked a human rights seminar at Novi Sad University] will organise a Miss Volksdeutsch contest - so that we have all the beauties from the National Liberation Struggle'. Well. Not quite. But don't let Boris Dežulović mention Severina's Hrvatica again.

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