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BETON INTERNATIONAL NO. 2: A GAZE INTO THE FUTURE OF EUROPE/ POGLED U BUDUĆNOST EVROPE

The subscribers of Tageszeitung newspaper received on 10th March this year the second issue of Beton International, a 32-page annual supplement dealing with cultural and broader social issues, illustrated with comic-frames by Belgrade alternative comics authors.

TAZ devoted readers are well aware of it, as they received the Beton supplement last year, which covered different topics of course. Given that 2014 was the year when the centenary of the First World War was commemorated, Beton International presented a selection of critical and literary writings by authors from Southeast Europe, as well as from Austria, Hungary and Germany. The 2015 annual did go a couple of steps further into future by bringing together authors from all corners of Europe to reassess the fundamental European value – antifascism here and now (http://rs.boell.org/sites/default/files/beton_2015_interactive.pdf).

My colleague Alida Bremer and I strived to bring the debate about founding European values, as well as the future of Europe itself, to the next level, so we invited authors from France, Greece, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia in order to make the dialogue on the topic as broad and comprehensive as possible. Authors participating in the Secession Europe project, the project by The European Society of Authors from Paris (www.seua.org), made an exceptional contribution to the debate. We have received remarkably interesting responses in regard to what has happened to the legacy of ”antifascism”, especially in light of the current conflict in Ukraine, and we have published, on the other hand, dozens of writings which imagine a Europe of migrations, hybrids and multilingualism, and translation as the official language of EUtopia.

In Beton International writings are divided into sections which could serve as a literary guide for travel through current political and cultural affairs in Europe. The section on the Ukraine crisis brings valuable insights into the misuse of antifascism in political discourse nowadays and the media representation of the conflict. The most interesting in that respect is the article by Ukrainian political analyst Mykola Riabtschuk. On the other hand, French author Mathias Énard, who wrote the highly acclaimed novel Zone, penned a pretty amusing text about the European Parliament. However, the three most provocative articles were all written by female authors: Serbian poet Dragana Mladenović wrote on the evil of fascism, French writer Marie Cosnay on the drama of exile, and Croatian author Ivana Bodrožić on the suspension of women’s rights in the Balkans.

The second issue of Beton International was supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. This is the sixth issue published by Beton in the German language. Beton started in 2010 and has been promoted at the Leipzig Book Fair. One of its most interesting issues was one from 2011, which was focused on contemporary literature in Kosovo and Serbia, the first project of a kind in Europe in forty years.

Translated by Svetlana Rakocevic

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Desetog marta ove godine, kao specijalni godišnji dodatak Tageszeitunga na 32 strane, opremljen ilustracijama iz alternativnog beogradskog stripa, na adrese pretplatnika ovog lista, dospeo je drugi broj novina za književnost i društvo Beton International. Verni čitaoci TAZ-a svakako znaju o čemu se radi, jer su prošle godine dobili isti takav dodatak, doduše sa drugom temom. Budući da je 2014. bila u znaku obeležavanja stogodišnjice početka Prvog svetskog rata, Beton International je doneo blok kritičkih i literarnih tekstova autorki i autora iz Jugoistočne Evrope, ali i Austrije, Mađarske i Nemačke. Ovogodišnji special je otišao nekoliko koraka u budućnost, ostvarivši neuobičajeno fuzionisanje pisaca iz različitih delova Evrope, objedinjenih oko preispitivanja bazične evropske vrednosti – antifašizma danas i ovde (http://rs.boell.org/sites/default/files/beton_2015_interactive.pdf).

Moja koleginica Alida Bremer i ja smo pokušali da govor o vrednosnim temeljima Evrope kao i njenoj budućnosti podignemo na višu razinu, pa smo u nastojanju postizanja sveobuhvatnog dijaloga na tu temu, okupili spisateljice i pisce iz Francuske, Grčke, Nemačke, Engleske, Austrije, Rusije, Ukrajine, Poljske, Češke, Crne Gore, Slovenije, Hrvatske i Srbije. Izuzetan doprinos ovoj temi dali su autori okupljeni oko projekta Secession Europe, koji je pokrenulo Evropsko društvo pisaca iz Pariza (www.seua.org). Dobili smo izuzetno zanimljive odgovore o tome šta se dogodilo s nasljeđem “antifašizma”, naročito u svetlu konflikta u Ukrajini, dok smo s druge strane objavili niz tekstova koji razvijaju jednu viziju Evrope migracija, hibrida, višejezičnosti i prevoda kao zvaničnog jezika Eutopije.

Tekstovi su razvrstani u rubrike koje mogu poslužiti kao literarni vodič za putovanje kroz aktualne evropske teme u Betonu Internationalu. Blok sa temom o krizi u Ukrajini donosi značajne uvide u zloupotrebu antifašizma danas u javnom diskursu politike i medijskoj reprezentaciji sukoba na Istoku. Svakako je u tom smislu najinteresantniji tekst ukrajinskog politikologa Mykole Riabtschuka. S druge strane, u ovom broju se pojavljuje izrazito duhovit tekst o evropskom parlamentu, koji je napisao francuski pisac Mathias Énard, autor glasovitog romana Zona. No najprovokativnije tekstove u broju, napisale su zapravo tri autorke: srpska pesnikinja Dragana Mladenović o pošasti fašizma, francuska spisateljica Marie Cosnay o drami egzila, kao i hrvatska spisateljica Ivana Bodrožić o suspendovanju ženskih prava na Balkanu.

Drugi broj Betona Internationala podržala je Fondacija Heinrich Boell. Inače, ovo je šesti broj u Beton-ediciji na nemačkom jeziku, koja izlazi od 2010. a promoviše se na Međunarodnom sajmu knjiga u Leipzigu. Jedno od najzanimljivijih izdanja bio je broj iz 2011, koji je bio posvećen savremenoj literaturi Kosova i Srbije, prvi takav poduhvat koji je u Evropi napravljen nakon četrdeset godina.

Saša Ilic

Saša Ilić, 1972 geboren, ist ein serbischer Schriftsteller. Er lebt in Belgrad und ist Chefredaktionsmitglied von BETON (Beilage der Tageszeitung Danas).

Saša Ilić, born 1972, is a Serbian writer. He lives in Beograd and is member of the editorial board of BETON (literary supplement of the daily newspaper Danas).

Saša Ilić, 1972 geboren, ist ein serbischer Schriftsteller. Er lebt in Belgrad und ist Chefredaktionsmitglied von BETON (Beilage der Tageszeitung Danas).

Saša Ilić, born 1972, is a Serbian writer. He lives in Beograd and is member of the editorial board of BETON (literary supplement of the daily newspaper Danas).

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