Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bora Djordjević on Epicentar: Aftershocks?

Despite threats from a group of Zagreb war veterans that they'd intervene to prevent the transmission of Mirjana Hrga's Epicentar talk show when she interviewed the Serbian rock singer Bora Djordjević, there's been little sign of recriminations after last week's show was successfully broadcast.

The major charge laid against Hrga's Nova TV colleague Petar Vlahov when he went to interview Ceca Ražnatović in January 2005 was that he hadn't asked her the key questions - her attitude to the aggression against Croatia and her response to accusations of involvement in the conspiracy against Zoran Ðinđić - which would have transferred the interview out of the realm of entertainment television and into the field of big-P Politics.

No such allegations could apply to Hrga, who put Djordjević over the political barrel for 25 minutes on last Sunday's show, starting with the question 'Are you a Četnik?' (Djordjević: 'Absolutely', although the two speakers arrived with rather different understandings of četništvo, with Djordjević maintaining that it stood today for 'being proud of what you are'.) Half an hour later, Hrga's audience were well-informed about Djordjević's performances in Serb-occupied Knin and his insistence that conversations about Srebrenica should also remember 'the number of Serbs who died' - and were left under no illusions what Hrga's most vocal guest, HSP (Croatian Party of Right) leader Ante Djapić, thought about it.

(The only shame for viewers who might have liked to know a bit more about the Serbian elections is that Epicentar's other Belgrade guest - Sonja Biserko from the Serbian Helsinki Committee standing in for an unavailable Nataša Kandić - got no more than six or seven minutes of screen time: a quarter of the space allotted to Djordjević.)

Mirjana Hrga, for her part, has been attracting more attention than ever since the interview, at a time when one might expect the press to be focusing on the impending arrival at Nova TV of her old talk-show rival Hloverka Novak-Srzić. Jutarnji list and Globus both carried interviews with Hrga this weekend, in which she explained why she'd invited Djordjević for his first post-war appearance on a Croatian political show:

'Given that there’s radicalisation on the Serbian [srpska] political scene, and surveys are showing that Šešelj’s radicals and Koštunica’s party are getting more and more votes, it was completely logical for me to invite someone on to the show who sang to that same Koštunica for Serbian New Year, and who even without Kostunica fills stadiums and performs in front of 25,000 people. Moreover, he wears Četnik coats of arms on his jackets, he publicly declares himself as a Četnik, he promotes radical ideas… For me that too is Serbia. We in Croatia can’t pretend that Serbia is in Africa. It’s our neighbouring state, and I want to show what’s going on there, I want to say that two Serbias exist.'

As for her guests from the Croatian side - particularly Djapić and veterans' representative Mladen Pavković - Hrga told Globus that:

'I wanted Đapić, as a representative of the Croatian right wing: I wanted to confront him with some, conditionally put, right-wing political option in Serbia, but it turned out those are two [different] worlds, that Ante Đapić is a top European [vrhunski Europejac] for what the other side offers. And I wanted a representative of the branitelji, because they are the people who defended Croatia from just the sort of opinions and plans that Čorba was talking about. I exceptionally respect the branitelji, so I invited them on. I know that for them it was a painful evocation of those memories.'

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At 10:50 pm, January 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post as usual, Catherine!

At 12:21 pm, January 29, 2007, Blogger Eric Gordy said...

Very odd quotation from Arsen Dedic in that article. It is not at all clear to me what he is trying to say.

At 3:52 pm, January 29, 2007, Blogger Catherine said...

I think the gist is that he started out with respect for Đorđević as a musician but has trouble understanding why he went all political. Which is basically the same comment that everyone else from showbusiness has been making about him.

It is a bit all over the place, though!

At 8:46 pm, February 01, 2007, Blogger Bg anon said...

Interesting any link for this transmission YouTube perhaps?

At 11:41 pm, February 01, 2007, Blogger Catherine said...

Good question! Not as yet, unfortunately...

At 6:22 am, March 18, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growing up in former yugoslavia and being a bit of rebel at the time I have admired Bora Corbas couridge to speak against the comunist goverment and it was one if not my favourite bands at the time .Hovewer his behawiour during war and post-war period had convinced me that he is nothing more than drunken hillbilly with a gift to rime. Nobody in his right mind could ignore what happened in Croatia and Bosnia.I have been there a saw it with my own eyes, makes me ashamed of my former country. when someone asks me where I come from I just say "Slavic", being to ashamed of my srebian roots.Sad thing is Serbia if full of people like him and does not deserve to integrate in Europe, this country is Balkan in it's worst meaning.


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