Note: This post started as my take on Amy Winehouse disastrous concert in Belgrade, but somehow transformed into a personal rant on hate speech against Serbia.
In case you didn’t hear, Amy Winehouse’s Belgrade concert turned out to be a complete debacle. There are various videos to prove it what happened a few nights ago at the Belgrade fortress.
The author of these videos is my friend Iva. One of her YT video gained a huge popularity, but then YT disabled it without offering a good reason. The fact it’s a bootleg wasn’t the reason given; after all, so many other concert videos are still there. No. They called my friend a spammer and a scammer. So, I guess somebody doesn’t want people to see this video, which is silly; you can’t stop the Internet. AP has it, and it’s virtually everywhere at the moment.
To watch it and read the full story, visit Iva’s website. But please, remember this is not an opportunity to laugh at Amy Winehouse and her condition.
But, there’s more. The Amy Winehouse thing is a popular stuff at the moment, and it’s saddening to see how little respect certain journalists (and others) have. I’m not talking about Amy at the moment (though that one is saddening, too), I’m talking about my country.
Amy’s newest embarrassing performance happened in Belgrade, Serbia, and not in London, UK; and for some reason, there are reporters who seem to think that it’s quite different because it happened on the Balkans. That the audience and the country somehow deserve less respect than, say, US audience in New York. Or that it’s somehow our fault or our embarrassment.
But in a way, the situation IS different for us. First of all, it’s much, much more difficult for us here to spend 40 euros on a concert ticket (many people work for less than 200 euros per month). It doesn’t mean we deserve a special treatment, but is it so difficult to grasp how disappointing and humiliating this was for people here?
The latest slap in the face came from Chelsea Handler (who the heck is this person anyway?), who tried to mock Amy Winehouse, but ended up throwing hateful comments on Serbia. This kind of ignorant junk we haven’t heard since… Well, yesterday. It never stopped; the hate speech against Serbia is still going strong. But do we need yet another ignorant Westerner and her hate speech? Is this really what Americans see as funny? Laughing at other cultures?
I am quite upset will all of this. And I’m not even sure why; I’m sure not particularly patriotic (and nationalists call people like me “traitors”). But I do feel hurt, and I do feel insulted, and I do feel so fucking tired of being reminded how unworthy, evil and disgusting my country and its people are. I’ve been listening that since I was 10. I’ve been hungry, and humiliated and treated as inferior, and I was forced to hide in the basement while the bombs were falling. I’m tired, and I’m so fucking angry and sick of it.
Here’s the thing. People in Serbia love good music. And my generation lacked the opportunity to see and hear their favourite musicians. It might seem disrespectful, or simplified, to illustrate all the mess and humiliation and hunger and embargo and war and bombing and other shit with the fact we were unable to go to concerts… But it’s a telling example.
I rarely resort to “you don’t know what is like” speech, but, seriously, do you know what is like to be desperate for this kind of events? It’s not just the concerts, though my generation IS desperate for it. Musicians visiting our country – that simple thing (that was taken for granted in the generation before mine, and yes, it was during socialism, btw), that simple thing means so much to us here.
We’re all sick of being insulted as a nation, and called names (and compared to Nazis: which hurts tremendously, because this country had suffered a lot during WWII and people here were never Nazi supporters), and seen as a source of all evil (accompanied with the usual hate and disgust for the Balkans), and humiliated and treated as inferior. It continues even today. And I’m sick and tired of it.