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Permanent Temporary Situation

The Life and Perspective of the returning Gastarbeiters in the Municipality of


I never live here

My home is where I am not

But I am always in it

In my thoughts of return

My only home are distances

(Ana Čugurović)

These lines sound like the chorus of every story we heard from the gastarbeiters we talked to in mid July 2007 during the two week field research in Kučevo as a part of the project named Art Interventions-The Return of the Gastarbeiters.

When we left Belgrade we brought with ourselves a certain amount of prejudices and stereotyped beliefs about the people we would question about their dreams, their lives, work abroad, the return… At one point of our journey many of the stereotypes started being confirmed…

Notable absence

….since the houses were larger, more luxurious, having more and more windows with shutters, and the front yards were getting emptier as our bus drove further from Belgrade. Where did all those rich people live? Why weren’t they in their houses? Did every gastarbeiter dream of putting their hard earned money into grandiose mansions of stone or was it something else?

The next few days we tried to find out more about the people who built these houses and confirm or prove wrong the stereotypes that followed them through conversation.

When they would receive us in their large houses, we would get the feeling that something was missing, as if the light was shining too short in the rooms. Their personal things weren’t giving the impression than anyone was living there, they were set for return. Everything but them was covered with dust. These people always return somewhere and stay nowhere.

They told us that only few old people were left in their home villages, which were far away from the main roads and almost deserted, their land was in weed, that their children didn’t want to accept them as inheritance, than nobody wanted to plough them and that everybody searched for the way to go away.

Confirmed stereotypes

Mid July 2007, under the project Art Interventions-The Return of the Gastarbeiters, we have conducted a field research among gastarbeiters in Kučevo, under the guidance of Prof Saša Nedeljković. The problem of people returning to Serbia hasn’t been a prominent subject of our anthropologists’ works, although they were familiar with it. Therefore, we have made an effort to extract some general problems and raise new questions, as to say the least, on the example of the gastarbeiters from Kučevo.

We talked with a great number of local gastarbeiters, who were willing to cooperate by talking about their lives, working abroad, thinking to come back…. Taking into consideration that they were a part of the economic and social structure of the greatly undeveloped municipality of Kučevo, we wanted to find out how much were they contributing to their community and whether they interact with their environment actively. The answers to these and many other questions we were able to get only from the story about their entire life: before they left, during the time they lived there and after they came back. Although the people we spoke to weren’t all the same sex and age, the stories they told revealed a standard pattern. The countries they went to were different (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands), but the problems they all came across when they left were mostly similar.

The years of crisis and the increase in the unemployment rate at the beginning of the 1960’s influenced the mass migration of the population of the former Yugoslavia in search for “temporary” work in the countries of West Europe. They would usually go “into the unknown”; looking for a job they couldn’t get here because the number of people looking for a job was a lot bigger than the number of jobs available.

After they left, they faced a new culture they knew very little about. They were not well informed of the conditions of working and living and the rights and obligations they would have. The problem of not understanding and accepting the new culture was mostly caused by the fact the workers did not know the language of the country they came to. They set off thinking “they could earn more there” (or, even simpler, that they would find a job there), and that they would return “when they have earned enough”. One of the people we spoke to, who had spent forty years in Germany, shared his original pans with us: I thought at the time that I was going to work for some time and then buy a car and make a small house and then come back. I thought it would last for 5-6 years, or 10 years, but then, the children came, I married there..“

Through the conversation we concluded they willingly accepted the fact that they would work harder there, but the reality was often more difficult and demanding than what they had hoped for. However, they accepted all of those terms thinking that their staying was only temporary. That was also one of the reasons of their slow adapting to the environment.

The confusion and the environment’s rejection of their behaviour were caused by the fact that the gastarbeiters lived according to two set of rules in two different environments. Their life abroad meant overtime and saving money, and rejection of the Western spending pattern, but their life here reflected the thinking of the typical “Western consumers”, who spent their hard earned money in the way it was often difficult to understand. These problems were concerned with personal integrity and the social and cultural identity of the guest worker of the first generation.

Part of these workers, who left for temporary employment abroad which usually lasts longer than they had previously thought, started their families in those countries. Their children weren’t so easily accepted into the society. Recalling one unpleasant situation, one of the people who returned, described us the schooldays of his son: „He attended the German school for a year. Once I went to the school and saw him standing alone in the corner, poor boy. Little German kids were running around and playing. The poor boy was standing alone in the corner. He was a foreigner at the time, that happened in ’72 or ’75-’76. He started school but didn’t know the language. He was born there and I was sorry to say to my wife: Look, Imma gonna take him immediately to Yugoslavia to go to Tito’s school, ya hear! “.. Today’s situation changed because there are programs developed to help the children of foreign workers adjust better. Many of the Western countries were aware of the difficulties the foreign citizens were facing so they developed the appropriate psychological and social programmes that included both parents and children. One of the people still living and working in Switzerland approved of the people involved who helped when his daughter was about to start going to the kindergarten „giving him advice that the child should learn to speak Serbian well at home before she started learning foreign languages…“ “She goes to the Swiss kindergarten, there are no Serbian kindergartens. There are additional schools in Serbian. It was interesting to us that we spoke to the teachers before she started going to school. I spoke only Serbian to my daughter. Before she started preschool, she went to the kindergarten… Three times a week per three hours she would learn German. She also started learning the language with the help of TV. The way to communicate is easy and children learn German very easily, and they learn it on the basis of the Serbian language. When me and my wife went to the kindergarten she was going they told us to speak only Serbian with her in the house, because learning more languages required one basis. Our mother tongue was Serbian, and she had to speak Serbian in order to overcome the learning of other languages easier. I speak only Serbian to her…“

The life and way of thinking of the second generation was drastically changed compared to their parents’ life. The practice of the first generation was to form a marriage with other people from Yugoslavia, while their children refused to follow that rule – forming a mixed marriage was perfectly natural to them. Many of the people we interviewed, members of the first generation, proudly emphasized the fact that they didn’t accept the citizenship of the country they went to believing they were preserving their national identity in this way, which wasn’t the case of their children.

On the other hand, part of these workers started their families in the home country, and most of those families remained there. No matter whether they followed the first or the second pattern, the member of the first generation of migrants invested all their money into houses (spacious, having high fences, massive gates, ornamented with concrete sculptures…), and invested all their hope in returning.

They came to Serbia on regular basis, whenever they would be on vacation. Today, their children rarely come because they believe this kind of vacation would cost them a lot comparing what would they gain from it, so they rather go to a third country. Thus, the houses remained empty, and all the effort made to build them was made in vain.

No matter how long they stayed in the country of temporary employment, our gastarbeiters, migrants of the first generation, rarely found friends among the citizens of that country (they mostly socialized with the workers from the former republics of Yugoslavia). The level of communication with the country’s home population was rather low. However, the need for knowing each other better was reduced to minimum. The workers of the first generation counted on coming back from the beginning, at first it would be temporary (vacations) and then permanently (retirement). Their social status changed after the return, and they were given the opportunity to actively influence their environment, which usually doesn’t happen; their money only influenced a specific form of architecture in Eastern Serbia, but this kind of influence could be described as rather passive.

From the conversation with the members of the local authorities and with the people that had returned we have concluded that there was (ill) will for cooperation on both sides. The representatives of the local authorities claimed that the gastarbeiters weren’t willing to invest their money in any of the projects of the municipality, while, on the other hand, most of the gastarbeiters claimed that nobody ever asked them to invest in any kind of particular project. Many of them were owners of private businesses, and stated that they were not willing to cooperate with the local authorities because they believed their money wouldn’t end up in the right place. In their statements we could detect subconscious opinion that the authorities were corrupted and taking bribe, and that they wouldn’t be able to deal with these situations in a legal way in this country… This kind of atmosphere is inappropriate for any kind of constructive dialog so their lives continue in mutual misunderstanding. What should be possibly further investigated is whether this was a typical problem of the transitional society or was it the lack of will, knowledge and capability to create a better living environment.

What seems to be the issue here is that both those who have the power (members of the local authorities) and those who have money (people who returned from abroad) are unwilling to share the power. Both sides complain about the other side and believe they are entitled to do so. „If I would live here, I would have run for the president of the municipality. This very moment“, says one of the people who believes that he has adopted a pattern of organized state system and bureaucracy while living and working in the West and who was willing to apply them in this country.

It seems like the gastarbeiters, by being temporary in both countries, lose the ability to identify themselves as members of any of the two societies they temporary live in, so they are identified as The Others in both places. They don’t see themselves in those ways, of course, they think they are the people who want to repeat the experiences of one society into the other, but since that is impossible (or, in rare cases very difficult or slow), they remain to wander, behaving in the right way in wrong places, or observing from a different perspective, doing wrong in the right places.

It is possible to notice that the problem of the gastarbeiters has many layers and many perspectives. The fact that they were not adapted and not willing to actively participate in every new environment, and the fact that they could not adapt themselves even to the old environment, influences others to classify them always as the “gastarbeiters” which explains their constant marginal status. After they left abroad, they separated themselves from the old environment, at the same time they rarely or never became accepted. Them being marginalised could last for a very long time (sometimes more than 40 years). For us, their marginal status doesn’t cease, because the end of one marginal status can easily mean the beginning of another one. During that period the population of both countries shows misunderstanding towards them, or “tolerates” them, while both sides accept the existing and create new stereotypes.

In their free time

For most of the people we interviewed, free time is unnecessary, useless, even harmful. Many of them use their free time to find another job on the black market, where they can earn more in one sitting. Even if they have free time they usually spend it with their families, or go to church (if there is an orthodox church), where they can meet other people from their country. They usually don’t become friends with people from the host country, even if they are co-workers (which mostly refers to the people of the first wave of migration). There are various cultural barriers when going on house calls between the foreigners, which are impossible to overcome for the people we talked to. Those who want to save money cannot even afford to go out from time to time, because that would cost a lot, so they wouldn’t save enough money to spend when they come back to Serbia. They spend their vacations in their own houses, which always need to be repaired and require some additional building. Even when they come after retiring they continue with some kind of work: some start a private business, and some return to cultivate their deserted land.

When you fulfil your expectations, and your wishes don’t come true

By their statements, what motivated them to leave was difficult life. They weren’t motivated only by lack of work; they also wanted to provide better life conditions for their children than the ones they lived in. Some of them lived in the remotest small villages and went to school on foot. When they earned enough to build large houses in the urban area for their children (some of them opened private businesses for their children), what their children wished for didn’t match their desires. Their children wanted more and they chose an already crossed road seeking for their wishes to come true, just as their parents did once.

Between here and there

Many of those people admired the laws and the efficiency of the legal system in the countries they worked in. They also claimed the corruption wasn’t so developed and all the problems could be solved with a dialog. Still, living was the best and the most pleasant in Serbia. Despite all the remarks they had against the local and state authorities, despite everything dysfunctional they noticed in the home economy, despite all the problems they perceived in the society, they felt their own masters here.. And what is more important they can always feel empathy for each other which makes them want to come back even more.

The Return

Although the most common reason for returning is retirement that is not the only reason. People who were more willing to fight the difficulties of life at home than abroad returned as soon as they earned the first sum of many they were pleased with. Their wish to be ’’their own masters“was stronger than the desire to be rich. They were less willing to adjust to the new environment, and wanted to use this new environment as a pattern to change their own country. They started small private firms that specialized in services, similar to the ones they saw abroad. Beside the vision about how would their firm look like, they worked to bring new ways to run a firm and treat your employees. They have been complaining that those ways were still not successful enough and that they were having a lot of difficulties.

Some people did not return because they wanted so. One of them returned with his family because his parents were ill. After that he couldn’t go back abroad. Now he feel nostalgic about the days he spent there and cannot adapt to the life here; he said it was much worse. However, depending on the country they had worked in, many of them admit that they would live pretty difficult with their pensions in the West. That is why they returned to their home towns where they can enjoy the status of a landholder.

Exceptions (that confirm the rule)

Nobody’s life can fit into only one pattern. All the people we questioned were different comparing to each other, and some of them fit the pattern more, and the others fit less. However, some of them were notably different.

It can be concluded that the life of our people in Sweden is much more different than the life of people living in other countries. The state encourages and forces them to integrate into the society. On the other hand, their return is brought in question. Their return is limited by the Swedish law, and allows them to come to short visits, because if they fail to be in Sweden for six months a year they lose the right to their pension.

One man went to work abroad and despite doing well he soon quit. He said ’’he had no time to work“. He did various jobs, travelled the European countries, and the he came home and continued with his previous work.

Searching for the better

We didn’t just do a research on the gastarbeiters; we talked to the people like us. They left once, like any of us who ever went to get something, always ready to return. But every trip alters us a little, so that we cannot realize that there is no come back, so we keep thinking about it.

In the end of the road there stands a dilemma whether it was all worth it? Did it pay off to work so hard in another country? That is the question these people ask themselves daily. The right answer is nowhere to find. If you judge by the large and massive fences, enormous houses, swimming pools and expensive cars, than it did pay off. But if we judge by the emptiness and hollowness that lies behind the fences of stone, than it didn’t pay off! The satisfaction almost everybody we spoke to felt at taking a look at their “empire of stone” (in which they invested almost everything they earned), became replaced quickly by the sad but true fact – everything was slowly decaying while their children and grandchildren were living somewhere else, in a foreign country that they wanted to return from as soon as possible to provide their family with the conditions they never had. And when they succeeded in giving their children that the rather wanted “to go to the Azure coast than to bore themselves to death here”, as we heard from the conclusion of one of the gastarbeiters we spoke to.

Biljana Anđelković
Koviljka Babić
Ana Čugurović
Marija Stevuljević
Jelena Tirnanić
Jovana Todorović

Život i perspektive gastarbajtera povratnika u opštini Kučevo

Ne živim nikada ovde
Moja je kuća tamo gde nisam sada
Ali uvek sam u njoj
U mislima na povratak
Moj jedini dom su daljine
(Ana Čugurović)

Navedeni stihovi zvuče kao refren svake priče koju smo čuli od gastarbajtera sa kojima smo razgovarali sredinom jula 2007. godine tokom dvonedeljnog terenskog istraživanja u Kučevu u okviru projekta Intervencije umetnošću-povratak gastarbajtera.
Polazeći iz Beograda poneli smo i izvesnu dozu predrasuda i stereotipnih shvatanja o ljudima koje je trebalo da ispitujemo o njihovim snovima, životu, radu u inostranstvu, povratku.. Na jednom delu puta mnogi od stereotipa su počeli da se potvrđuju…

Vidljiva odsutnost
….jer što se autobus udaljavao istočnije od Beograda, to su kuće bivale veće, raskošnije, sa više prozora sa zatvorenim kapcima, a dvorišta praznija. Gde li su živeli svi ti bogati ljudi? Zašto nisu bili u svojim kućama? Da li je san svakog gastarbajtera da teško zarađeni novac u inostranstvu uloži u velelepna kamena zdanja ili u osnovi leži želja za nečim drugim?
Narednih dana pokušali smo da kroz razgovor saznamo više o ljudima koji su ih pravili i da potvrdimo ili opovrgnemo stereotipe koji su ih obično pratili.
Kada bi nas primali u svoje velike kuće imali smo osećaj da u njima nešto nedostaje, kao da je svetlost u sobama bila prekratko. Stvari nisu bile nameštene za život, one su bile spremne za povratak. Sve osim njih prekrivala je prašina. Ovi se ljudi uvek vraćaju, a nigde se ne zadržavaju.
Pričali su nam o tome da je u njihovim rodnim selima, koja su bila udaljenija od važnijih puteva i skoro potpuno opustela, ostalo još po nekoliko staraca, da su im njive zakorovljene, da njihova deca ne žele da ih dobiju u nasledstvo, da niko ne želi da ih obrađuje, da svi samo traže načina da odu odavde.

Potvrđeni stereotipi
Sredinom jula 2007.godine, u okviru projekta Intervencije umetnošću-povratak gastarbajtera, sproveli smo dvonedeljno terensko istraživanje među gastarbajterima u Kučevu, pod rukovodstvom doc.dr Saše Nedeljkovića.. Problem povratnika u Srbiju, iako poznat našim antropolozima, poslednjih godina nije zauzimao značajnije mesto u njihovim radovima. Stoga smo se potrudili da, na primeru kučevskih gastarbajtera, ako ništa drugo, makar uočimo neke osnovne probleme i otvorimo nova pitanja.
Razgovarali smo sa mnogim tamnošnjim gastarbajterima, koji su bili spremni da nam izađu u susret pričajući nam o svom životu, boravku i radu u inostranstvu, razmišljanju o povratku…. Uzimajući u obzir da su oni sastavni deo ekonomske i društvene strukture, u velikoj meri nerazvijene kučevske opštine, želeli smo da otkrijemo koliko i na koji način doprinose svojoj zajednici i da li aktivno stupaju u interakciju sa svojom okolinom. Odgovore na ova, ali i mnoga druga pitanja mogli smo dobiti samo iz priče o njihovom celokupnom životu: pre odlaska, tokom boravka i nakon povratka sa rada u inostranstvu. Iako su se ispitanici razlikovali po polu i godištu, u njihovim pričama se može uočiti jedan standardni obrazac. Zemlje odlaska su bile različite (Nemačka, Švajcarska, Austrija, Italija, Švedska, Francuska, Holandija), ali problemi sa kojima su se gastarbajteri susretali po odlasku su uglavnom slični.
Godine krize i porast nezaposlenosti početkom šezdesetih godina prošlog veka uticali su na masovni odlazak jugoslovenskih državljana na „privremeni“ rad u zapadno-evropske zemlje.  Odlazili su, najčešće, u “potpuno nepoznato”, tražeći posao koji ovde nisu mogli da dobiju, usled nesrazmernog odnosa broja radnih mesta i broja ljudi koji za njih konkurišu.
Po odlasku, oni su se suočavali sa novom kulturom o kojoj najčešće nisu znali dovoljno. Takođe su bili loše informisani o uslovima rada i stanovanja, kao i pravima i dužnostima koje će imati. Problem nerazumevanja i neprihvatanja nove kulture najvećim delom je uzrokovan činjenicom da radnici nisu znali jezik zemlje u koju odlaze. Oni su polazili sa uverenjem da se “tamo bolje zarađuje” (ili, prosto, da se tamo može naći posao), odnosno da će se vratiti “kad zarade dovoljno”. Jedan od naših ispitanika koji je u Nemačkoj proveo četrdeset godina podelio je sa nama svoje prvobitne planove: “Ja sam mislio da idem malo da radim i da kupim autić, i da kućicu jednu napravim pa da dođem. Ja sam mislio 5-6 godina, 10 godina, kad ono, deca se rode tamo, oženio sam se tamo..“
Kroz razgovor sa ispitanicima zaključili smo da su oni spremno prihvatali činjenicu da će se tamo više raditi, ali često je njihova stvarnost bivala teža i mučnija od onoga čemu su se nadali. Oni su ipak, pristajali na sve to smatrajući svoj boravak tamo privremenim. To je često bio jedan od razloga njihove spore adaptacije.
Zabuna i nerazumevanje njihovih postupaka prouzrokovani su i činjenicom da gastarbajteri, u dve sredine, žive u skladu sa dva potpuno različita modela. Dok je njihov život tamo opterećen prekovremenim radom i štednjom i evidentnim neprihvatanjem zapadnog potrošačkog modela, po povratku u otadžbinu postaju i više nego tipični “zapadni potrošači”, trošeći teško stečeni novac na način koji je, često, teško razumeti. Navedeni problemi se tiču ličnog integriteta, kao i društvenog i kulturnog identiteta stranog radnika prve generacije.
Deo radnika, koji odu na privremeni rad u inostranstvo, a koji obično potraje duže nego što se očekuje, zasniva porodicu u zemlji u koju su otišli. Nijihova deca nisu bivala lako integrisana u društvo. Prisećajući se nimalo prijatne situacije, jedan od povratnika je opisao školske dane svoga sina: „Tamo je išao godinu dana u švapsku školu. Jednom sam otišao u školu i video ga kako stoji sam siroma u ćošku. Švapčići okolo trče i igraju se. On stoji siroma’ u ćošku. Bio je stranac u to vreme, to je bilo ’72 ili ’75-’76. Pošo u školu, ne zna jezik. On se jeste tamo rodio i men’ bilo žao i kažem ženi: Slušaj, ja ću odma’ da ga odvedem u Jugoslaviju da uči Titinu školu, bre!“.. Danas situacija više nije takva pošto postoje razvijeni programi za što bolje prilagođavanje dece stranih radnika. Mnoge zapadne zemlje svesne poteškoća sa kojima se suočavaju strani državljani razvili su adekvatne psihološke i socijalne programe u koje su uključeni i roditelji i deca. Jedan od ispitanika koji još uvek živi i radi u Švajcarskoj pohvalno je govorio o tome (polasku svoje ćerke u vrtić) kako su ga „savetovali da dete kod kuće dobro savlada srpski jezik pre nego što krene na program učenja stranih jezika…“  “Ona ide tamo u švajcarski vrtić, naši ne postoje. Postoje naše dopunske škole. Interesantna stvar da pre nego što je ona krenula u školu mi smo imali razgovor sa prosvetnim radnicima. Ja sam isključivo sa njom razgovarao srpski. Pre nego što je krenula u predškolsko, pre toga je išla u vrtić.. Tri puta nedeljno po tri sata i tamo  je počela da uči nemački. Učila je i preko TVa. Tamo je način komunikacije jednostavan i deca lako uče taj nemački jezik, a uče ga samo na osnovi srpskog jezika. Kad sam otišao tamo na razgovor sa suprugom u tom pretškolskom gde ona sada ide su nam napomenuli da sa detetom govorimo isključivo srpski u kući jer je za jedan, dva i više jezika potrebna jedna osnova. Naš maternji jezik je srpski jezik i ona mora da govori srpski jezik dobro da bi mogla da sve ostale jezike lakše savlada. Ja sa njom govorim isključivo srpski.“
Život i način razmišljanja druge generacije se drastično razlikuje od života njihovih roditelja. Praksa ispitanika, pripadnika prve generacije je bila da sklapaju brak sa partnerima sa jugoslovenskog prostora, dok njihova deca nisu sledila to pravilo – za njih je stupanje u mešovite brakove bilo potpuno prirodno. Mnogi naši ispitanici, pripadnici prve generacije su s ponosom isticali činjenicu da nisu prihvatili državljanstvo zemlje u koju su otišli, smatrajući da time čuvaju svoj nacionalni identitet, što nije bio slučaj i sa njihovom decom.
S druge strane, deo radnika zasnivao je porodice u zemlji porekla, u kojoj su one najčešće ostajale. Bez obzira na to da li su sledili prvo ili drugo pravilo, pripadnici prve generacije iseljenika su sav stečeni novac ulagali u kuće (prostrane, ograđene visokim ogradama, sa masivnim kapijama, ukrašene betonskim figurama…), a sve svoje nade u povratak.
Oni su u Srbiju dolazili redovno, kad god su bili na odmoru. Njihova deca danas retko dolaze jer smatraju da bi ih takav odmor skupo koštao u odnosu na to šta bi njime dobili, pa se radije “odmaraju” u nekoj trećoj državi. Stoga kuće ostaju prazne, a sav napor da bi se one zaradile uzaludan.
Bez obzira na to koliko vremena provedu u zemlji privremenog rada, naši gastarbajteri, iseljenici prve generacije, retko nalaze prijatelje među strancima (uglavnom se druže sa radnicima iz bivših jugoslovenskih republika). Nivo komunikacije sa domaćim stanovništvom im je obično veoma nizak. Međutim, i potreba za boljim upoznavanjem svedena je na minimum. Radnici prve generacije još od početka računaju na povratak kući, najpre privremen (dolazak na odmore), a kasnije za stalno (odlazak u penziju). Njihov društveni status po povratku se menja i oni dobijaju mogućnost da aktivno utiču na svoju okolinu, ali to se najčešće ne dešava; njihov novac jeste uticao na razvoj specifičnog vida građevinarstva u Istočnoj Srbiji, ali mi bismo takav uticaj radije okarakterisali kao pasivan..
Iz razgovora sa predstavnicima opštine i povratnicima zaključili smo da postoji obostrana (ne)zainteresovanost za saradnju. Predstavnici opštine tvrde da gastarbajteri nisu spremni da svoj kapital ulože u neki od programa opštine, dok, s druge strane, većina gastarbajtera tvrdi da niko od njih nikada nije tražio da ulože u neki konkretan projekat. Mnogi od njih imaju sopstvenu privrednu delatnost, a, kako kažu, sa opštinom nisu spremni da sarađuju jer misle da uloženi novac ne bi završio na pravom mestu. Kroz njihove izjave se latentno provlači mišljenje da u opštini ima mita i korupcije i da strahuju da sa tim ne bi mogli da se izbore na legalan način u našoj zemlji.. U takvoj atmosferi nije moguć bilo kakav konstruktivan dijalog pa se njihovi životi nastavljaju u međusobnom nerazumevanju. Ono što bi eventualno trebalo dalje ispitati jeste da li je ovde reč o tipičnom problemu društva u tranziciji ili o odsustvu želje, znanja i sposobnosti da se stvori bolja i uspešnija životna sredina.
Izgleda da je posredi nespremnost za podelu moći između onih koji imaju vlast (predstavnici opštine) i onih koji imaju novac (povratnici iz inostranstva). Obe strane žele i jedno i drugo i smatraju da imaju potpuno pravo na to. „Kad bih živeo ovde ja bih se kandidovao za predsednika opštine. Istog momenta“, kaže jedan od ispitanika koji veruje da je živeći i radeći na Zapadu usvojio model organizovanog državnog sistema i birokratije koji je rad da primeni i ovde.
Čini se da gastarbajteri svojim privremenim boravcima ovde i tamo gube mogućnost da se identifikuju kao pripadnici bilo kog od dva društava u kojima povremeno žive, pa ih i tamo i ovde prihvataju samo kao Druge.. Oni sebe, naravno, ne vide tako, oni su ljudi koji svoja iskustva iz jednog društva žele da ponove i u drugom, ali pošto je to nemoguće (ili, u retkim slučajevima, veoma teško ili veoma sporo ostvarivo), oni ostaju da lutaju, ponašajući se ispravno na pogrešnim mestima ili, iz drugog ugla, pogrešno na pravim mestima.
Kao što se može primetiti, problem gastarbajtera je višeslojan i višeznačan. Njihova neprilagođenost i nespremnost za aktivno učešće u svakoj novoj sredini, kao i nespremnost, odnosno nemogućnost prilagođavanja u staroj, utiče na to da oni uvek budu klasifikovani kao “gastarbajteri” što svedoči o njihovom neprekidnom liminalnom statusu. Po odlasku na rad u inostranstvo, oni se odvajaju od stare sredine, dok u novoj sredini retko ili gotovo nikad ne bivaju prihvaćeni. Ta njihova liminalnost često može potrajati i veoma dugo (i po više od 40 godina). Za nas njihov liminalni status ne prestaje jer njegov kraj može biti jedino prelazak u drugi. Tokom tog perioda, oni su izloženi nerazumevanju ili “trpljenju” od strane stanovnika zemlje u koju su otišli i zemlje u koju žele da se vrate, dok i jedni i drugi prihvataju postojeće i konstruišu nove stereotipe.

U slobodnom vremenu
Za većinu naših ispitainika slobodno vreme je nepotrebno, beskorisno ili čak štetno. Mnogi od njih u slobodno vreme rade neki drugi posao „na crno“, gde im je trenutna zarada veća. Ako slobodnog vremena i imaju, najčešće ga provode sa svojom porodicom ili odlaze na službu u crkvu (ukoliko postoji pravoslavna crkva), gde mogu da se vide sa svojim sunarodnicima. Sa stanovništvom država u kojima rade najčešće ne stvaraju prijateljstva, čak ni kad su u pitanju kolege sa posla (ovo uglavnom važi za one koji su otišli u prvom talasu). Za kućne posete između stranaca postoje razne kulturne barijere, koje su naši ispitanici doživeli kao nepremostive. Oni koji žele da uštede ne mogu sebi priuštiti čak ni povremene izlaske, jer bi ih oni tamo koštali mnogo, pa im ne bi ostalo ništa da uštede za povratak. Za odmore dolaze u svoje kuće, a njima uvek trebaju neke popravke i dorade. Čak i kada dođu u penziju nastavljaju sa nekim poslom: jedni imaju privatne firme, a drugi se vraćaju obrađivanju svojih napuštenih imanja.

Kada se očekivanja ispune, a želje ne ostvare
U pričama povratnika, glavna motivacija za njihov odlazak bio je težak život. Nije ih motivisao samo nedostatak  posla već i želja da svojoj deci obezbede bolje uslove za život od onih koje su imali oni sami. Neki su bili đaci pešaci iz udaljenih sela. I kada su zaradili dovoljno da svojoj deci sagrade ogromne kuće u gradu (neki su im čak otvorili i privatne firme), želje njihove dece nisu se poklopile sa ostvarenjem njihovih želja. Njihova deca su tada želela više i krenula su, sada već utabanim putem, da bi ostvarila svoje želje, baš kao što su to nekada radili njihovi roditelji.

Između ovde i tamo
Mnogi naši ispitanici divili su se zakonima i efikasnosti njihovog sprovođenja u zemljama u kojima su radili. Takođe su isticali i to da je tamo manja korumpiranost i da se svi problemi mogu rešiti dijalogom. Ipak, nigde im nije bilo tako lepo i prijatno za život kao u Srbiji. Uprkos svim zamerkama koje su upućivali državnom i opštinskom rukovodstvu, uprkos svim disfunkcionalnostima koje su uočavali u ovdašnjoj privredi, uprkos svim problemima koje su primećivali u društvu, ovde su se više osećali kao svoji na svome.. I što je mnogo važnije ovde su uvek mogli da saosećaju kao svoji sa svojima i to je u njima najviše razbuktavalo tinjajuću želju za  povratkom.

Mada je najčešći razlog za povratak odlazak u penziju, to ipak nije jedini razlog. Oni koji su bili spremniji da se sa životnim nedaćama bore u svom rodnom kraju nego u inostranstvu vraćali su se kada bi zaradili prvu željenu sumu. Kod njih je želja da budu „svoji na svome“ bila veća od želje za bogatstvom. Oni su manje bili spremni da se prilagode novoj sredini, a više su nastojali da ugledajući se na nju menjaju svoj zavičaj. Otvorili su male privatne firme koje pripadaju domenu uslužnih delatnosti, po uzoru na slične koje su videli u inostranstvu. Osim vizije o tome kako će im firma sama izgledati, oni su doneli i nove načine u rukovođenju firmom i u ophođenju prema zaposlenima. Žale se da u tome još uvek nisu potpuno uspeli i da imaju mnogo teškoća.
Bilo je i onih koji se nisu vratili svojom voljom. Jedan ispitanik se sa porodicom vratio jer su mu roditelji bili bolesni. Nakon toga nije mogao ponovo u inostranstvo. Sada žali za danima kada je bio tamo i nikako ne može da se privikne na život ovde; kaže da je mnogo lošiji. Međutim, u zavisnosti od toga u kojoj zemlji su radili, mnogi naši ispitanici priznaju da bi na zapadu sa svojom penzijom jako teško živeli. Zato se ipak odlučuju za povratak u svoja mesta u kojima mogu da uživaju u statusu gazde.

Izuzeci (koji potvrđuju pravilo)
Ničiji život ne može se uklopiti u jedan obrazac. Svi naši ispitanici su bili međusobno različiti, a zamišljenom modelu neki su bili više, a neki manje slični. Ipak neki su više odudarali od ostalih.
Primećuje se da se život iseljenika u Švedskoj mnogo razlikuje od života ostalih ispitanika. Oni su ohrabreni i primorani da se bolje integrišu u društvo zemlje u koju su otišli. S druge strane, to je njihov povratak dovelo u pitanje. Njihov povratak je ograničen švedskim zakonom na kraće izdeljene posete svom zavičaju jer, ukoliko nisu u Švedskoj šest meseci u toku godine, gube pravo na penziju.
Jedan ispitanik je otišao na rad u inostranstvo, ali je, bez obzira na to što mu je dobro išlo, ubrzo odustao od toga. Kako kaže „nije imao vremena da radi“. Dovijao se na razne načine i putovao evropskim zemljama, a onda se vratio kući i nastavio da se bavi svojim ranijim poslom.

U potrazi za boljim
Mi nismo samo pročavali gastarbajtere, razgovarali smo sa ljudima poput nas. Oni su nekada otišli, kao što i svako od nas  negde krene po nešto, već spreman na  povratak. Ali svaki put nas malo izmeni da i ne shvatimo da povratka nema, pa sve vreme mislimo o njemu.
Na kraju puta ostane dilema i pitanje da li je išta od toga vredelo? Da li se taj dugi niz godina napornog rada u tuđini isplatio? To je pitanje koje gotovo svakodnevno sebi postavljaju naši ispitanici. Pravog odgovora nema. Ako je suditi po velikim i masivnim ogradama, ogromnim kućama sa skupim nameštajem, bazenima i skupim automobilima, onda jeste. Ali ako prosuđujemo na osnovu praznine i pustoši koja se nalazi s one strane kamenih ograda, onda nije!  Zadovoljstvo koje gotovo svaki naš ispitanik oseti kad pogleda u svoje “kameno carstvo” (u šta uloži obično sve što je zaradio), vrlo brzo smeni gorka ali na žalost tačna činjenica da to propada dok im deca i unuci žive negde daleko, u tuđini iz koje je on želeo što pre da se vrati ne bi li svojima pružio sve ono što sam nije imao.  A kad im je to pružio oni su želeli “radije Azurnu obalu nego da se ovde ubijaju od dosade”, kako je zaključio jedan naš ispitanik.

The (Im)Possibilities of the Return of the Gastarbeiters

This text is the result of anthropological research conducted in the villages that surround Kučevo: Turija, Duboka, Rakova Bara, Popovac and Ševica. The aim of this activity is to recognize and map basic problems connected to the return of these people, understand socio-cultural background of this issue and give directions for further research through focusing on life stories of the gastarbeiters.

 Eastern Serbia is a region where migrations are manifested in a specific way, and what we can clearly conclude from our field research, is that it is still an on-going process, especially in the minds of people who have helped us unselfishly in our scientific research.1
Gastarbeiter (gastarbeiter, a word which denotes singular and plural in German) is a concept with different connotations, positive and negative, within an ethnic, social, cultural and economic context. First of all, it refers to the guest workers, people who came to Germany in search for work during the 60s and 70s.  The formal status of temporary workers was determined by bilateral agreements between the German government and Italy (1955), Greece (1960), Turkey (1961), Portugal (1964) and Yugoslavia (1968)  which made possible for the gastarbeiters to get a qualified job in the industrial sector of the economy.2 The migrants, mostly men in the beginning, were allowed to stay in the host country for a year or two and then return home. However, most of them decided to remain in Germany with their families who joined them. The children of the gastarbeiters got the right to stay in Germany but they got no guaranties that they will be given citizenship. They became ethnic minority discriminated in an educational, religious and social way, which was the result of the state not being interested in their integration into the German society due to the German law.
By analyzing personal stories about life and working experience of the gastarbeiters,3  we have identified two main periods or waves of migration. The first wave took place in the 60’s and the 70’s, the people migrating being mostly uneducated with and without a degree in primary education, which happened because the state reduced the amount of the agricultural land and because the people wanted to enlarge their material possessions. Most of the workers of this first wave went to work individually, without their families, while the children remained at home to be taken care of by their grandparents, which was typical of this first wave. When the children grew up the parents took them abroad. Children born abroad became citizens of the country they were born in.  The wave which happened in the 90’s, during the civil war in former Yugoslavia was the result of a ruined economy which caused poverty and made everyone feel insecure. People who went abroad during this second wave were the ones who finished elementary school, or secondary school, or some kind of trade.  The third generation of gastarbeiters was born during this wave, i.e. the grandchildren of the first generation. These children were either born abroad or they went there soon after they were born in Serbia. They went to school abroad, some got their citizenships, learned to speak the language, so the possibility of returning to Serbia got smaller. The children born and remained in Serbia, whose parents work abroad, are the target audience that requires finding ways and possibilities to stay.
In addition to that, we have learned of various kinds of strategies to overcome the differences that occur due to the assimilation. Most people gave us the impression it was something that occurred consciously and in accord to the life circumstances, but it wasn’t a consequence that would go away painlessly. The strategies they used were concerned with developing consciousness, knowledge and notions of one’s origin. The aim is for the children to spend the holidays in home towns of their parents and grandparents, who then try to attract them to their roots.4

Migrants usually go to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and their choice depends on the dynamics of the global social movability, relatives or other kinds of relationships in the host country, laws that relate to this issue and the country’s social policies. Having that in mind, we cannot see the gastarbeiters as a homogeneous group, because different life conditions, differences in the ways they make profit, cause different perceptions on life and possible return to Serbia. The experiences of one living in Austria and one living in Serbia are very different. Unlike the gastarbeiters from Austria, the ones from Sweden have more free time which they spend in a creative way and they travel more. „In Austria, people socialize less and earn more. Here, people just live. They socialize“. (M. Š., village of Duboka, Sweden). When they come to Serbia from Sweden, they live modestly, because they don’t want to splash their money around. The Swedish law does not allow them to live in Serbia more than six months when they retire (although they would like that), so they plan to live half a year in one country and half in another. In short, they spend their money in Serbia but they don’t invest it anything that would show their material status. One of the difficulties of the gastarbeiter’s life is the status of not belonging to any country. „Yes, we are strangers here and strangers there, too“ (M. L., village of Brodica. Austria). According to M.Š., a woman from the village of Duboka, people in Sweden have an insulting expression for strangers – „the blackheads“ (although she had never heard anyone calling her like that). „When I go to Sweden I am a Serb, and when I come here people say – That Swedish woman is here.“ (M.Š. village of Duboka, Sweden).

 At first sight, the economy of Eastern Serbia cannot be justified from the point of view of classical economy. Building of unnecessary large houses,5 luxurious wedding receptions, and general spending of large amounts of money without investing it6  is a cultural characteristic in, on the one hand, the process of relocating goods,  and on the other hand according to the people we spoke with, a strategy of providing homes in case of forceful return from abroad. The first generations of migrants cherished the ideal of joint life of an extended family, believing that their children would live with them.7 The gastarbeiter houses in Serbia are being used only for two to three months a year. They represent the status symbol and their purpose is to provide comfortable life during the vacations and after retiring. Houses abroad are not marked for the owner’s material status. The main frame for seeing the set parameters through is the notion of investing the capital. This area has potential for developing rural tourism, but it would take investing a lot of money and work. The surroundings are fit for it. There are natural resorts like Homolje Mountains, the cave of Duboka and so on. The possibility of establishing a suite accommodation is the most promising one, considering that all villages have modern large houses that could be used with this purpose. We made an inquiry about the possibility of developing such practice and came to the conclusion it was in nobody’s interest. Such way of making profit is not the most desirable one, because those houses were mainly built for families to live in them, although they are quite large. What can be concluded is that from the standpoint of the people who work abroad, this part of Serbia has no potential for developing rural tourism. However, we mustn’t forget some isolated cases which inform us of laws and regulations of some countries (Switzerland and Sweden). These regulations state that one must live in the country which provided him with the pension for a specific amount of time during one year. If not, one’s pension would be reduced. Thus, if not generally, this fact makes a lot of difference in isolated cases (Turija, Duboka). This is one of the reasons why people cannot run businesses at home. According to the gastarbeiters from Sweden, the business in that country was running well, because the state was fair, and the community was aiming to develop private businesses. They convinced us that here everything was running with difficulties, because ”the state requires taxes and other fees to be paid, and gives no guaranties in return”. For doing business.

The life of the gastarbeiters abroad is often very different from the image people living in the home country have of them. The image of a well-off landholder in luxurious exterior and interior, often conceals a hard life abroad in the background. Hard physical labour done overtime, and austere life conditions reflect the impossibility of assimilating into the new environment. These characteristics, as well as limited knowledge of the language, customs and culture of the host country are mostly typical of the first generation of the gastarbeiters. The second and the third generation show a larger scale of fitting in the society, occupy better job positions, have more liberal and modern views on life, accept new schemes in economy of manipulating one’s income. Beside the change in economic patterns of behaviour, one occurred in the relations between a family. The patriarchal family prototype, the concept of marriage and parenthood were replaced by pragmatic solutions dictated by their staying and survival in the host countries and the legal system. The examples of mothers leaving their small children to be taken care of by their grandparents (which the children later recognize as their guardians they are more devoted to than parents) or marriages established with the citizens of the host countries they work in because of money clearly depict the collision of the patriarchal and traditional system of the agricultural societies with the West system based on the market. Thus, the first generations of the gastarbeiters live their life between wanting to provide their children with material wealth and not having the opportunity to really be parents. „My daughter and I aren’t a mother and a daughter. We don’t know each other.“ (M.R., village of Turija. Sweden). People we spoke to emphasized that the children would prefer being next to their mothers than having money. „The children don’t them.“ (J. V., and old woman, village: Rakova Bara. Her Children are in Austria.)

Most of the gastarbeiters come home after they retire but without their children. „You die where you were born“ (V. I., village: Rakova Bara. Austria). Most of them don’t have the citizenship of the host country while their children do. The children stay there to start their own lives.

Family relations and mutual help are very important in a gastarbeiter’s life.   Namely, the people we spoke to, emphasized that they had had someone abroad who welcomed them and helped them manage in the beginning (usually a cousin or a close friend). What is also known is the phenomenon of marrying “for documents”. Some people went abroad following this practice. They would formally divorce their spouses in Serbia, and then through some channels find a person abroad to establish a formal marriage and arrange a sum of money to be paid to this person, who was the citizen of the host country. M. G. From the village of Duboka first got a divorce in Serbia, and then married an old lady from Stockholm to get the documents of citizenship and paid her for that, and later he divorced again to marry his first wife. There is also the practice of „cross marriage“. A couple would divorce and then marry another couple from Serbia to help them obtain citizenship.

The possibility of the return of the gastarbeiters surely depends on current global economic conditions. The millennium wave of migration is slowly decreasing due to the employment crisis thus forcing the third and the fourth generation of the gastarbeiters to remain in their own country.

The socio-cultural transformations we isolated speak of the problem of collision of cultural patterns and the change of systems of values. A more detailed analysis of this problem would reveal the ways political, generation and cultural differences among the gastarbeiters, influence their decision to come back, invest money, and forming new residential culture. For the return of the gastarbeiters to be possible at all, there has to exist a strategy to keep the ones who stayed from going and return the ones who left.

The causes which make the return of the gastarbeiters less possible are:

  • -.the undeveloped municipalities

  • -.state administration’s lack of strategy and will to invest in developing infrastructure in the municipality

  • -.inadequate tax policy which enhances the risk for the possible investment

  • -.political transparency in the process of making decisions by local administration

–        assimilation problem

  the possibility of social tensions, i.e., the problem of change in socio-economic climate in the villages, characteristics for its hierarchal and relations of symbolic power between the gastarbeiters and the locals.

Empty houses, the decrease in demographic level, unmotivated and small young population, is an image that can be easily changed with the help of a good developing strategy. The gastarbeiters themselves see their life as gloomy sometimes. „I am one sad story. We all are.“ (M.Š. village Duboka, Sweden). All these interviews from Kučevo are just bits and pieces of individual stories, which are not just family stories. They are a part of a large complex system of understanding of the life of working abroad. „Wasted life“. (M. P., village of Turija. Switzerland). However, these stories also reflect a lust for life.These and many other problems should be dealt with through state policy of positive affirmation of the gastarbeiters as a new market subject.

Further anthropological research would clarify this image and find structural similarities in changes of cultural patterns of life, and they would also find ways for their use in practice in the process of reintegration of the gastarbeiters into the Serbian society.


The material for this paper was gathered in July 2007 on the territory of the municipality of Kučevo. The students of the department of ethnology and anthropology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade who collected it under the guidance of Prof Dragana Antonijević were: Tanja Višić, Nađa Živanović, Dušan Kocić, Marija Krstić, and Aleksandar Repedžić i Čedomir Savković.

1 We thank all the people who spoke with us as well as our guides, president of the local community Duboka, Ljubomir Rajić and president of the local community Turija, Danijel Milenković.


3 The opinion about gastarbeiters is mostly negative in Serbia. „People who went were džabalebaroši, vucibatineand the uneducated ones“ (LJ. R. Village of Duboka).

4 ”When you spend at least one month during the year being your own master” (Popovac, Duboka).

5 They have houses so large that it takes half a day for one to tour them and nobody lives there. “ ( S. M. village of  Popovac).

6 In this case we can talk about “the logic of potlača“ which is a part of the life cycle rituals of everyday life (wedding receptions, funerals, slavas i zavetinas) and about similarities with the cultural practice of the Native Americans which reflected in gaining prestigepower and humiliate the one who is receiving a gift from us, so they won’t be able to respond in the same way

7 This ideal collapsed when the second generation left. A fine example of this is a house in the village of Turija which occupies almost 300 m2. It became a solitary tombstone erected during the owners life, guarded by lions and eagles made aout of plaster placed at the entrance gates. Today, the owner of these mansions, consider this practice “a waste of money”, well aware of the fact that their decendants will never live there, and that the house itself cannot be sold by the real market price.

Tanja Višić
Čedomir Savković
Marija Krstić

Tekst je rezultat antropoloških istraživanja koja su izvedena u selima u okolini Kučeva: Turija, Duboka, Rakova bara, Popovac i Ševica. Cilj rada je da se kroz fokusiranje na životne priče gastarbajtera uoče i mapiraju osnovni problemi vezani za njihov povratak, razume socio-kulturna konfiguracija ovog problema  i pruže smernice za buduća proučavanja.


 Istočna Srbija je područje gde su migracije na poseban način izražene, a svodeći zaključke sa terena, postalo nam je jasno da je to još uvek dosta zastupljeno, prvenstveno u svesti ljudi, koji su nam nesebično pomagali u naučno-istraživačkom radu.1


Gastarbajter (gastarbeiter, reč koja u nemačkom jeziku označava i jedninu i množinu) je pojam koji se različito konotira, i pozitivno i negativno,  u etničkom, socijalnom, kulturnom i ekonomskom kontekstu. Prvenstveno, on označava gostujuće radnike, ljude koji su  60-ih i 70-ih godina prošlog veka  došli u Nemačku u potrazi za poslom. Formalni status privremenih radnika proističe iz bilateralnih ugovora između nemačke vlade i Italije (1955), Grčke (1960), Turske (1961), Portugala (1964) i Jugoslavije (1968) koje je  omogućavao gastarbajterima da dobiju kvalifikovan posao u  industrijskom sektoru.2  Migranti, koji su u početku bili uglavnom muškarci mogli su da ostanu godinu ili dve dana nakon čega bi se vraćali u domovinu. Međutim, većina njih se odlučila da ostane u Nemačkoj sa porodicama koje bi im se pridružile.  Deca gastarbajtera, dobila su pravo ostanka u Nemačkoj, ali bez garancija za dobijanje državljanstva.  Oni postaju etnička manjinska zajednica obrazovno, religijski i društveno diskriminisana, kao posledica nezainteresovanosti države za nijhovu integraciju u nemačko društvo što je posledica nemačkog zakonodavstva.
Analizom ličnih kazivanja o iskustvu života i rada gastarbajtera,3  identifikovana su dva glavna perioda ili talasa odseljavanja. Prvi talas se dogodio 60-ih i 70-ih godina, zbog smanjenja poljoprivrednog zemljišta od strane države i želje za sticanjem većeg imetka, koji je uglavnom pokrenuo najneobrazovanije stanovništvo, sa ili bez završene osnovne škole. Većina radnika prvog talasa na rad je odlazila individualno, bez porodice, dok su deca, što je uglavnom karakteristično za ove talase, ostajala kod kuće da se o njima staraju babe i dede. Kad bi deca odrasla roditelji bi ih odveli u inostranstvo. Deca koja su rođena u inostranstvu postajala su ”domaća” u zemlji rođenja. Talas devedestih, tj. perioda građanskog rata u bivšoj Jugoslaviji uzrokovan propadanjem industrije čija je posledica nemaština i nesigurnost. On je pokrenuo  one koji su završili osnovnu,  srednju školu ili neki zanat. U okviru ovog talasa stvara se treća generacija gastarbajtera, tj. unuci prve generacije, koji su tamo rođeni ili su otišli ubrzo nakon rođenja u Srbiji. Tamo završavaju  školu, neki stiču državljanstvo, govore jezik i mala je verovatnoća da će se vratiti u Srbiju. Deca gastarbajtera koja su rođena i ostala u Srbiji, a čiji su roditelji u inostranstvu, jesu ciljna grupa zbog kojih treba pronaći način i mogućnosti ostanka.
S tim u vezi, došli smo do saznanja o različitim vrstama strategija za prevazilaženje razlika koje asimilacijom nastaju. Većina informanata nam je odala utisak da se radi o nečemu što je nastupilo svesno i shodno životnim situacijama očekivano, ali da nije reč o posledici koja će proći bezbolno. Strategije kojima pribegavaju odnose se na razvijanje svesti, znanja i predstava o svome poreklu.  Nastoji se da deca školske raspuste provode u rodnom mestu svojih roditelja, baba i deda, koji se trude da ih privuku svojim korenima.4

Destinacije iseljenika su uglavnom Nemačka, Austrija, Švajcarska, Švedska, a izbor zavisi od dinamike globalne društvene pokretljivosti, srodničkih ili nekih drugih veza u zemlji iseljenja,  odgovarajućih zakonskih propisa i socijalne politike zemlje.  Zbog toga, gastarbajtere ne možemo sagledati kao homogenu grupu jer različiti uslovi života, razlike u načinu sticanja prihoda i emigracionih zakona uzrokuju različite percepcije života i pogleda na eventualni povratak u Srbiju. Iskustva osoba iz Austrije i Švedske su veoma različita. Za razliku od gastarbajtera iz Austrije, gastarbajteri iz Švedske kuće imaju više slobodnog vremena koje kreativno ispunjavaju i više putuju. „U Austriji se manje druže, a više zarađuju. Narod ovde živi. Druži se“. (M. Š., selo Duboka, Švedska). Kada dođu iz Švedske u Srbiju žive skromno, jer im nije stalo da se razbacuju. Zbog švedskog zakona, po odlasku u penziju ne mogu da žive u Srbiji (iako bi to voleli) duže od 6 meseci zbog poreza, ali planiraju da žive po pola godine na oba mesta. Ukratko, troše svoj novac a ne ulažu ga u Srbiji u materijalne pokazivače statusa. Jedna od nedaća gastarbajterskog života je i liminalni status, odnosno nepripadanje nijednoj državi.Da  smo i ovde stranci, a i tamo“ (M. L., selo Brodica. Austrija). Prema sagovornici M.Š. iz sela Duboka, u Švedskoj strance pogrdno i uvredljivo zovu „crnoglavci“ (ali kazivačica nikada nije čula da je nju neko tako zvao). „Kad odeš u Švedsku, ja sam Srbin, kad dođeš ovde-Došla Šveđanka.“ (M.Š. selo Duboka, Švedska).


 Istočnu Srbiju odlikuje ekonomija, naizgled, logički neopravdiva sa stanovišta klasične ekonomije. Izgradnja nepotrebno velikih kuća,5 raskošne svadbe i uopšte trošenje velikih suma novca bez ulaganja6  jeste kulturna specifičnost u preraspodeli dobara s jedne strane, a sa druge prema kazivanju ispitanika, strategija obezbeđivanja kuća u slučaju prinudnog povratka iz inostranstva.  Ideal o zadružnom životu proširene porodice gajile su prve generacije migranata verujući da će u njima živeti oni i njihova deca.7 U Srbiji gastarbajterske kuće se koriste tokom godine uglavnom dva do tri meseca. One predstavljaju statusni simbol i namenjene su udobnom životu tokom godišnjeg odmora i penzije. U inostranstvu one nemaju značaj simbola koji odražava materijalno stanje vlasnika. Glavni orijentir kroz koji se mogu posmatrati izneti parametri jeste pojam investicije kapitala. Ovo područje ima predispozicije za razvoj seoskog turizma, ali za njega je potrebno odvojiti dosta sredstava i rada. Okolina za to je pogodna. Tu su prirodne atrakcije kao što su Homoljske planine, Dubočka pećina i sl. Mogućnost razvoja apartmanskog smeštaja najviše obećava, jer su u gotovo svim selima izgrađene moderne velike kuće koje bi dobro došle za takvu priliku. Raspitivali smo se o takvim mogućnostima i došli do zaključka da to nikome nije u interesu. Takav način privređivanja nije najpoželjniji jer su kuće građene prvenstveno za porodični život iako su dosta velike. Može se zaključiti da ovaj deo Srbije nema perspektivu razvoja seoskog turizma, barem što se tiče stavova ljudi koji rade u inostranstvu. Međutim, ne treba zaboraviti i pojedine slučajeve koji nam govore o zakonskim propisima u nekim zemljama (Švajcarska i Švedska). Ti zakonski propisuju ističu da se određeni period godine mora živeti u državi koja je radniku dala penziju. U suprotnom, penzija bi bila dosta manja, tako da je ova činjenica, ako ne generalno, onda u pojedinačnim slučajevima značajna (Turija, Duboka). To je jedan od razloga nemogućnosti poslovanja ”kod kuće”. Prema kazivanjima gastarbajtera iz Švedske, tamo je posao išao dobro jer je država bila korektna, a i sama sredina je orijentisana ka razvoju privatnog biznisa. Ubedljivo su nam odgovorili da ovde to teško ide, budući da ”država traži poreze i ostale nadoknade, a da za uzvrat ne obezbeđuje nikakve garancije”. Većina ostaje u uverenju da je lepo doći kući na odmor i videti se sa rodbinom i priljateljima, a za mesto poslovanja će uvek biti najpogodnija zemlja u koju se otišlo u potragu za boljim životom i boljom zaradom.

Život gastarbajtera u inostranstvu se često ne poklapa sa slikom koju članovi zajednice imaju o njima u matici.  Slika gazde-domaćina u raskošnim eksterijerima i enterijerima, često u pozadini krije težak život u inostranstvu.  Naporan fizički prekovremeni rad i oskudni životni uslovi jesu odraz nemogućnosti za asimilaciju u novu sredinu.  Navedene karakteristike, kao i slabo poznavanje jezika i običaja kulture u kojoj gostuju, pre svega, važe za prvu generaciju gastarbajtera. Druga i treća generacija, pokazuju veći stepen uklapanja, imaju bolja radna mesta, liberalnije i modernije poglede na život, prihvataju nove ekonomske modele raspolaganja zaradom. Osim promene u ekonomskim obrascima ponašanja, došlo je i do promene  u porodičnim odnosima. Patrijarhalni porodični model, koncept braka i roditeljstva zamenjeni su pragmatičnim rešenjima koje diktira ostanak i opstanak gastarbajtera u zemljama odlaska, kao i njihov pravno-regulacioni sistem. Primeri majki koje  ostavljaju malu decu na čuvanje babi i dedi (koje deca kasnije često prepoznaju kao staraoce kojima su više privrženi nego roditeljima) ili brakova iz interesa sa državljanima zemalja u kojima rade, jesu jasan pokazatelj sudara patrijarhalnog tradicionalnog sistema svojstvenog agrikulturnim sredinama i zapadnog, tržišnog. Tako da prva generacija gastarbajtera   život provodi, u stvari, u procepu između želje da omoguće materijalno blagostanje deci i nemogućnosti da zaista budu roditelji.  „Ja i moja ćerkica kao da nismo majka i ćerka. Ne poznajemo se“ (M.R., selo Turija. Švedska). Sagovornici ističu da bi deca više volela da su bila pored majke nego novac. „Njih deca ne poznaju.“ (J. V., baba, selo: Rakova Bara. Deca su joj u Austriji).

Većina gastarbajtera se vraća kući po penzionisanju ali bez dece. „Gde se rodi, tu umire“ (V. I., selo: Rakova Bara. Austrija). Većina njih nema državljanstvo, dok deca imaju. Deca ostaju tamo i tamo započinju sopstveni život.

Važnost u gastarbajterskom životu čine porodični odnosi i veze uzajamne pomoći. Naime, naši sagovornici su isticali da su već imali nekoga (obično je u pitanju rođak ili blizak prijatelj) ko ih je primio u inostranstvu i pomogao im da se u početku snađu. Poznat je i fenomen venčavanja „zbog papira“. Pojedini ljudi odlazili su tako što bi se razvodili od svojih supružnika samo formalno, preko neke veze u inostranstvu bi našli osobu sa kojom bi sklopili formalni brak uz ugovorenu sumu novca koja bi se isplaćivala onom ”supružniku” koji je domaći u zemlji u koju se odlazi, odnosno koji poseduje državljanstvo te zemlje. M. G. iz sela Duboka se prvo razveo u Srbiji, a zatim se venčao sa babom u Stokholmu zbog papira koje je platio da bi se kasnije ponovo razveo i oženio svojom prvom ženom. Takođe postoji i praksa „unakrsnog venčavanja“. Bračni par se razvede  i venča sa drugim parom iz Srbije da bi im pomogli da dobiju papire.

Mogućnost povratka gastarbajtera svakako zavisi od ekonomskih uslova u sadašnjem trenutku na globalnom nivou. Milenijumski talas iseljavanja počinje polako da jenjava usled krize zapošljavanja i time primorava treću i četvrtu generaciju gastarbajtera na ostanak u svojoj zemlji.

Socio-kulturne transformacije koje smo izolovali upućuju na problem sudara kulturnih  modela i promene sistema vrednosti. Detaljnija analiza ovog problema bi otkrila kako političke, generacijske i kulturološke razlike koje postoje unutar grupe gastarbajtera, utiču na njihovu odluku na povratak, ulaganje kapitala i formiranje nove rezidencijalne kulture. Da bi povratak gastarbajtera bio uopšte moguć, mora se pronaći strategija kako zadržati one koji su ostali i vratiti one koji su otišli.

Uzroci koji smanjuju verovatnoću povratka gastarbajtera većinom su:

  • -.nerazvijenost opštine  

  • -.nedostatak strategije i volje za ulaganje u razvoj infrastrukture opštine od strane državne samouprave 

  • -.neadekvatna poreska politika koja povećava rizik od eventualnog ulaganja 

  • -.politička transparentnost u donošenju odluka lokalne samouprave 

–        problem asimilacije

  mogućnost pojave socijalnih tenzija, odnosno problem promene socio-ekonomske atmosfere u selima, koju karakterišu hijerarhijski i odnosi simboličke moći između gastarbajtera  i pripadnika lokalne zajednice.

Prazne kuće, pad demografskog nivoa, nemotivisano malobrojno mlado stanovištvo,  jeste slika koja vrlo lako može da se promeni uz dobru razvojnu strategiju. Gastarbajterski život se ponekad i od strane samih gastarbajtera percipira sumorno. „Ja sam žalosna priča. Svi mi“ (M.Š. selo duboka. Švedska). Svi ovi intervjui iz Kučeva su samo delići individualnih priča, koje nisu samo porodične. One su deo jedne šire mreže shvatanja i razumevanja radničkog života u inostranstvu. „Promašen život tamo“. (M. P., selo Turija. Švajcarska), ali istovremeno oslikavaju i žudnju za životom. Ovi i mnogi drugi problemi, jesu pre svega,  domen intervencije države i državne politike pozitivne afirmacije gastarbajtera kao novog ekonomskog aktera.

Dalja antropološka istraživanja bi išla ka izoštravanju ove slike i pronalaženju strukturalnih sličnosti, u promenama kulturnih modela života, i njihove praktične primene u procesu reintegracije gastarbajtera u srpsko društvo.


Materijal za izradu ovog rada su  tokom jula 2007. godine na teritoriji opštine Kučevo prikupljali  pod rukovodstvom doc. dr Dragane Antonijević studenti Odeljenja za etnologiju i antropologiju Filozofskog fakulteta u Beogradu: Tanja Višić, Nađa Živanović, Dušan Kocić, Marija Krstić, Aleksandar Repedžić i Čedomir Savković.

1 Zahvaljujemo se svim našim sagovornicima kao i našim  vodičima, predsedniku mesne zajednice Duboka, Ljubomiru Rajiću i predsedniku mesne zajednice Turija, Danijelu Milenkoviću..


3 Mišljenje o samim gastarbajterima u Srbiji je uglavnom negativno. „Odlazili su džabalebaroši, vucibatine i oni bez škole“ (LJ. R. selo Duboka).


4 ”Kad barem i mesec dana godišnje provedeš kao svoj na svome” (Popovac, Duboka).

5 Imaju kuće, pola dana da ih obiđeš a niko u njih ne živi.“ ( S. M. selo Popovac).

6 U ovom slučaju se može govoriti o “logici potlača“ utkanog u svakodnevni život rituala životnog ciklusa (svadbe, sahrane, slave i zavetine) odnosno o sličnosti sa kulturnom praksom severno-američkih Indijanaca koja se sastojala u sticanju slave i prestiža deobom i uništavnjem što većeg imetka sa ciljem da se stekne nadmoć i ponizi onaj kome dajemo poklon, tako da neće moći da ga uzvrati

7 Ovaj ideal se urušio sa bespovratnim odlaskom druge generacije. Primer je kuća u selu Turija od skoro 300 kvadrata. Kuća postaje usamljeni spomenik podignut za života koju na ulaznim kapijama čuvaju gipsani lavovi i orlovi. Danas vlasnici ovih zdanja smatraju  to “uludo protraćenim kapitalom”, svesni činjenice da njihovi potomci tu nikada neće živeti, a da se više ne može ni prodati po realnoj tržišnoj ceni.

Tanja Višić
Čedomir Savković
Marija Krstić

One Story of One Workshop

In Požarevac, due to the election year the local government was formed shortly before the workshop began. Since the leading party in the government changed so did most of the local administration including the head of the cultural center and all agreements we reached with the former director (financial, concerning human resources and allocation of space) were cancelled.
Luckily, both the former director, Gordan Bojković and the program manager, Bojan Gačević
agreed to work as volunteers allowing the workshop to take place.
The space of the seminar, which was supposed to take place in the local cultural center, was replaced by contribution of one of the local televisions “Televizija Inn”.
The cultural center participated in giving us working space and a space for the opening event.
Another unfortunate event that happened shortly before the workshop was that the chief editor of Televizija Inn our media sponsor was killed in a car accident but the cooperation
with the television and with Danas newspaper continued.
The workshop started with a press conference for local and national journalists. In the conference participated the curator of the project, representatives of the Požarevac cultural center and selected artists from Serbia and abroad. (Slide 1)
The second day started the lectures, this was the day the International Roma Union (IRU) entered our lives. (Slide 2 bottom right, slide 3 bottom left), later they would take us to the places significant for the Roma population. We also heard lectures about history of Požarevac and the region, it cultures, the economical and political situation, stories from current and former gastarbajters, overviews on their contributions to the society and the changes they brought, lectures by the students of the Belgrade University Anthropology department and artists’ presentations (Slides 2-7). The week was dedicated to an intense discussion on the European view on immigration and how would it be possible to better the relations between home, gastarbajters and host communities (Slides 8-9). The seminar was covered by a few of the local television and some young and older people from the local population came and participated. As part of the seminar, we went on a tour of the town, which ended with a visit to the studio of one of Požarevac’s leading artists (slide 11-13).
After the seminar we the IRU took us on a few excursions the first was to the Roma IDP settlement in Stari Kostolac (slides 14- 24) many artists were very touched by the people living in these difficult condition and a few of the works dealt with the relation between these IDPs, Roma and other gastarbajters and the local population. These pictures were taken by Momir Bojović and Jelena Radić, which also made a documentary about it. Next, we went to participate in a wedding (slide 25) that took place in another, a little better settlement, it was clear that the fact that most IDPs are Muslims divided them from the local population. The day ended in a local party in one of the villages where we dance the traditional dance named – Kola (slide 26).
We also went to a recreation place on the Danube and to the local fair (slide 27), participated in the inauguration of a local church (slides 28-29), and visited many people in the villages surrounding Požarevac (slides 30-44). The distinctive and flashy architecture caught everybody’s eye and a few of the artists related to that for example the performance and photographs of Nannette Vinson (slides 45-48) and the Possible Museum of Erin Obradović and Marija Đorđević. The Museum (slides 51-54) refers more to the inside of
the houses, which is as ostentatious as the exterior (slides 49-50).
One of the main figures of the workshop was Novica Mitić (slide 55) the head of the IRU in Požarevac. A second-generation gastarbajter (his home on slide 56) who, by his organization is often a link between the IDPs and the local population. The work of Mark (slide 57) dealt with the generation affect and temporality that the gastarbajter phenomenon had on the family by creating Novica’s family tree in which many of the members were spending most of the time abroad.
In the office of the IRU a activist approach was taken by the artist Alexander Nikolić who had chosen in this context to create a website for the IRU and to teach its members how to use the internet to promote their cause (slide 58).
Novica, among others (slide 64) had been frequently interviewed by the artists and some have followed the project of the IRU employing Roma in gathering old furniture and redistributing it (slide 59-63). Public interviews were held and broadcasted on a portable radio station by Stefan Tenner and Danijela Pivašević-Tenner (slides 65-66). The interviews were mainly held in German and will be broadcasted on German radio in Berlin. From a different approach the artist Leone Contini (slide 67) engaged with the uneven distribution of resources and the need or demand for solidarity by asking the inhabitants of the IDP camp to make a list of the materials needed for them to better their condition, intending to go with the list to different gastarbajters (Roma and non-Roma) to ask for their contribution. The list was not provided and the gastarbajters refused to contribute. The trace of that idealistic mission was a marble plaque in the park designating the empty site of the donors.
Another aspect of the relations was revealed by the children’s workshop held by Nannette Vinson, and Rena Raedle (slides 68-71) and by Danijela Pivašević-Tenner (slides 72-73). The workshops were held in the IDP settlement in Stari Kostolac, in one of the gastarbajters’ villages and in Požarevac itself. At the opening pictures were taken of the children and the artists together (slide 74). There was a problem of bringing the children from the settlement and the village together since some of the Roma thought it was not appropriate for them to be seen together i.e. reveling some inner hierarchy but in the end all arrived.
During our stay there, a five-month-old baby had died due to the malnutrition and lack of hygienic conditions in the settlement. We all gathered money to help with the hospital bill (that was not necessary since the body was discharged without payment) and Rena, Leone and myself went with a member of the community to release the body. We met the parents and grand parents there. The parents were a young couple, around 15, from the settlement. Rena had signed her name and the name of her organization in order for the procedure to go smoothly.
The death affected the artists deeply. One of the artists Giacomo bazzani produced a death notice for the baby (slides 75-76), a standard procedure in all deaths in Serbia, which would not have taken place without his intervention. Since one of the companies that give funeral services, refused to produce the death notice and notified us that none of the other companies would produce it either. We produced it ourselves and hung it in the appropriate public spaces in order to introduce him back into the community.
The other artist Alexander Nikolić presented photocopies of the death documents in the
central square in Požarevac (slide 77) attracting the attention of the passers by, the Police and the media.
In a different sphere and location in town, the local computer games club, the artist Rebecca Miller was holding an animation workshop for the local young customers to give them an alternative option to the violent games offered there (slide78).
In the park was Marija Vidić installed her origami installation (slides 79-80), hand made and mechanical, her response to the collective thinking of different groups that appeared on the screen of the workshop. For lilja, an artist from Majdanpek the “missing person” was the core of the gastarbajter phenomena (slides 81-83).
Last but not list the artist Vladimir Miladinović reminded us Požarevac’s claim for fame, being Milosevic’s birthplace.

Artists’ statements:

Vladimir Miladinović, Serbia: Billboard installation.

On he way to Požarevac I thought, what drive people out of here… and then, suddenly, right at the entrance to Požarevac I felt an unbearable smell. I said to myself, this is it, such an unbearable stench would drive even the devil out of here.
Work location – cultural center
Exhibition location – main street

Erin Obradović, USA and Marija Đorđević, Serbia/Germany:

Two Floor, Tree Floors – A Possible Museum
In Požarevac and Braničevo County, it is estimated that 30% of the residents are living and working abroad as guest workers.
In considering the gastarbajter home as a space between museum, monument and exhibition – we have gathered six items from the local home of a family who have lived and worked abroad in France for the last 40 years.
They are working as professional musicians in Paris—performing at ex-Yugoslav clubs and weddings. They have raised their children and grandchildren in France, but often spend their summers in Požarevac.
In the 19th century, prominent citizens from Požarevac, like the Trifunovic family (whose
home now houses the Museum of Cultural History) worked as international merchants and shipped most of the items in their home and even workers from abroad. Most were shipped from Vienna and Budapest by boat via the Danube—sailing Neo-Classicism and Biedermeier into Serbia and Požarevac.
What is transported now between European and Požarevac homes?
In case of our current donor everything from marble tiles, household appliances, a fireplace and mantle to the Louis XV furniture were also purchased in France and shipped to Požarevac—although this time via truck. The family agreed to donate a few personal items for our temporary exhibition.
By displacing objects from the 20th century gastarbajter home into the 19th century home/museum we hope to open a dialogue about the presence, influence, relevance in the history of local gastarbajter communities.
Work location – gastarbajters houses
Exhibition location – Museum of cultural history

Alexander Nikolić, Austria:

We have gotten familiar with Požarevac and the people who live in it. the big contribution of the local cultural activity and a lot of gastarbajters. People that in the public opinion are not there, nor here. In seeking them, I have seen, heard and came to know a lot of this. I have seen here areas, where I felt like I am in “Alice in Wonderland”, I have seen here area where IDPs live in harsh conditions. I stand between palaces and barracks. My search began in Vienna and it will be hard to conclude it with this workshop. Too many questions have been opened, and the society in which I try to create is closed. My work needs to stimulate communication on many levels. I hope I will succeed.
Work location – office of IRU
Exhibition location – office of IRU – website:, main square

Marija Vidić, Serbia: Every Bird Flies in its own Flock

The installation “Every Bird Flies in its own Flock” is made of paper in origami technique. Each of us wishes to be “in our own” but if 4000 Km separate between home and domicile, where is our “our own”?
Work location – cultural center
Exhibition location – park of front of the municipality

Momir Bojović and Jelena Radić, Serbia: The “Unknown Stories”

A documentary film about the parallels and paradoxes formed between different groups in the Roma population. On the one hand, the film shows the conditions in the cardboard settlements and on the other Roma as gastarbajters. In the middle is the International Roma Union that is trying to close the gap between them.
Work location – town and villages
Exhibition location – local coffee shop

Nannette Vinson, USA/Hungary Rena Raedle, Germany/Serbia and Danijela Pivašević- Tenner, Serbia/Germany with children from Stari Kostolac, Veliko Crniće and Požarevac: „Writing on the Sky" and "Your Dream-house" – Workshop

On 10th of August 2008, the drawings were presented at the Cultural Centre Požarevac in the frame of the exhibition opening „Art Interventions – The Return of the Gastarbajters". The first workshop took place in Stari Kostolac at a settlement of Roma refugees from Kosovo. The second groups were children from Roma families who are working in Austria, spending their holydays in their home village Veliko Crniće. The third workshop was done in the city park of Požarevac with Serbian children living in the center of the city. Each workshop consisted of two units. One part was individual work with pencil on paper. The children were asked to draw the house of their dreams and to present it to the others. The other was an interactive group work, drawing together on a transparent plastic foil from both sides. The foil would later be held up against the sky and be photographed from below. To bring all children together for an exhibition of their works turned out to be more challenging than expected, as the representative of the Roma organization was first reluctant towards the idea of the refugees' children attending the public event at the cultural centre. In the end, everybody came and it was a great opening. One of the adults from the refugees' settlement wants to go on working with the children and to encourage them to draw on different materials. The workshop was directed by Danijela Pivašević-Tenner, Nannette Vinson and Rena Raedle and was realized in collaboration with the International Romani Union Serbia ( and the library of Požarevac in the frame of „Art Interventions – The Return of the Gastarbajters".
Work location – Stari Kostolac, Veliko Crniće, city park of Požarevac
Exhibition location – Cultural center

Danijela Pivašević-Tenner: Your Dream-house

The works are inspired by the child’s individual understanding of the concept “home”. Home as their reality, their wishes for the future or a fantasy?
Various social structures, religious preference, way of life, does not allow them interaction and integration in their wider social surrounding.
does there surrounding with its different economic, social and cultural values influence them, their upbringing and how does it manifest? Isolation or integration? Mobile or static position?
Work location – Stari Kostolac, Veliko Crniće, city park of Požarevac
Exhibition location – Cultural center

Stefan Tenner, Germany i Danijela Pivašević-Tenner: Gastarbijters’ Radio

Many questions need to be answered if you want to understand the phenomen of the Gastarbajters from Ex-Yugoslavia and the current situation in the place of their origin. In the region of Eastern Serbia, there is obviously a lack of communication in the society. So, let's stop this by a simple thing: a Radio.
Join the transmission & let's meet each other On Air at the weekend 9/10 August 2008 in the centre of Pozarevac.
Or listen here online all the voices, collected in the surrounding of Pozarevac in August 2008:
Work location – the streets of Požarevac
Exhibition location – Cultural center, Main Square

Rebecca Miller, USA: Making versus Destroying

While in Požarevac, Serbia I discovered that the young male population was spending hours inside the internet house playing incredibly violent video games simulating war. This made me uneasy considering the fact that Milosevic was born and raised his children in Požarevac. I saw a need for them to be offered an alternative to these games. I downloaded Flash
animation program on the computers and offered to teach them how to animate their own drawings and designs for a few hours each day. The kids became interested and learned
quickly how to animate their drawings. Soon the young people were involved in a process of creation rather than destruction. A few of them expressed interest in going to art school and were curious about an artistic future. My goal was to have them view the computer as a creative tool rather than a war simulator.
Work location – gaming house
Exhibition location – Cultural center

Ljiljana Stevanović, Srbija: She has Returned

A sculpture in three parts – Europe, female gastarbajter and a road sign for Požarevac. Work location – Cultural center
Exhibition location – Cultural center

Leone Contini, Italy:

The work is the attempt to transform the potential energy of societal inequality into a concrete act of solidarity. In the settlement of Rom refugees from Kosovo he tried to set up a list of
needed materials for infrastructure. This list would be visible in town to reveal the situations
of these people. The mentioning of the donor would follow the local system of values and the need of the gastarbajters to be accepted and visible. The project fails! The failure will be presented in form of an empty commemoration stone, which can be used in case of an act of solidarity, appears in future.
Work location – the streets of Požarevac
Exhibition location – Cultural center, Main Square

Alice Troise, Italy in collaboration with Leone Contini: "Italians eat frogs and…"

This video is the first part of a work in progress based on prejudices concerning culinary habit of other nationalities. In the video Alice discovered that in Serbia many people, coming from different social and national backgrounds, think (or joke with the common opinion) that Italians eat frogs, snakes and cats.
At the moment she is working on a second video, regarding the Italian fear of Chinese gastarbajters, unjustly accused of stealing domestic cats and serve them in their restaurants.

Mark Brogan, England/Serbia: Family Tree for Novica Stević

I was inspired to produce a family tree for Novica Stević by the idea that quite possibly it can be associated with way that gastarbajters build their homes in their home countries. Gastarbajter homes are often built over successive rather than a single generation, each generation maintaining the connection to its roots by adding a floor or a feature, even a new building! Each generation picks up and continues where the last generation left off. Their homes emanate the baroque splendor of palaces created for a dynasty rather than a pragmatic summer retreat for a worker ‘overseas’. These buildings seem to be conceived without an end so that layer upon layer and detail upon detail can be added reflecting family history in a celebration. Is a family tree not constructed in a similar way?
I also pondered the question if the thought would ever occur to gastarbajters to manifest their family history as a family tree. As a second generation Irish man, born in London to Irish parents who moved there in the late sixties, I suspect the answer might be ‘no’. The concept of the family tree relies on, no pun intended, a rootedness, stability and sense of history, which is rendered absent in the unsettling and alienating struggle to integrate and survive in
a foreign land.
Work location – Office of IRU
Exhibition location – Museum of 19th century ethnography

Rofaida Makki, Sudan: „What does Life Mean to You?“.

The question occurs to us many times but we do not focus on answering, life has different meanings for each and every one of us in society is tied to happiness of every individual depends on his conviction and his or her life and the way they live it. I decided to do painting workshops on glass bottles, because the bottle Bear link to the lives of many people of the city (Požarevac), this can be connected to the meaning of life.
Work location – streets of Požarevac
Exhibition location – cultural center

Giacomo bazzani:

The song "International" is played in 90 versions in 49 different languages without pauses or breaks between the different songs.
Sound project, 4h 37’
Naturalization market
It is a long-term project that aims to identify and document some break points and contradiction between the promises of universal emancipation of European modernity and the contemporary form of economic neo-liberalism.
The project includes a series of video interviews with Serb gastarbeiters in order to ask them
to describe the specific situation spatial and temporal, social condition and order of
reflections that marked the moment when, during their migratory path, have decided to return homeland.
The interviews should play preferably in the home or in familiar places of the respondents.
Interactive questionnaire
I would like if you could try to remember and to describe us the precise moment when, during your migratory path you decided to return permanently to your homeland.
1. In what place was you when you took that decision (house, road, work, etc.).? Can you describe it briefly?
2. Could you briefly describe the stages of its migration path that led you to be there at that time?
3. What were your living conditions at that time?
4. What were your expectations at that time?
5. What has the urge to take the decision to return home? What were the thoughts and motivations you did in this particular moment that produced the decision to return home? There were special features of the place or the social context in this moment, which had a special role in taking the decision to return?
Death Notice:
A death notice done for a Rom baby who dies at 5 month in the refugee settlement of Roma from Kosovo
Work location – gastarbajters houses in the town and villages
Exhibition location – cultural center

(Deutsch) Teuerungsrevolten — in Wien und in Frankreich.

Aus. Wohlstand für Alle, Wien 25.10.1911

Die Ereignisse, die sich am 17. September in Wien abspielten, zeigen uns wieder einmal aufs klarste das Unheil, welches entsteht, wenn die Arbeiterklasse kein revolutionäres Empfinden und kein revolutionäres Ideal hat. Die Volksmassen, denen man, fortwährend blos das Eine vorgepredigt hat, daß sie auf ihre „Vertreter” und „Führer” vertrauen und diesen gehorchen müssen, und die von diesen Vertretern und Führern, von Obrigkeit und Gesetzen die Verbesserung ihrer Lage erwarten, haben, als diese Führer sie für einmal (sie wissen’s, warum!) sich selbst überließen, nichts anderes zu tun vermocht, als ihre Verzweiflung und ihren Haß durch blindwütendes Zertrümmern von Fenstern und Verwüsten von Parkanlagen und Schulen Luft zu machen. Sie haben nicht einmal versucht, ihren Zorn speziell gegen jene zu kehren, die am unmittelbarsten Schuld an der Verteuerung des Lebens sind — gegen die Spekulanten der Börse, und die Nahrungsmittel- und Hauszinswucherer. Die Idee, durch selbstständige Massenaktionen einen direkten Einfluß auf die Herabsetzung der Lebensmittelpreise und der Wohnungsmiete zu nehmen, ist ihnen nicht einmal in den Sinn gekommen.
Wie anders gingen in derselben Lage die französischen Arbeiter — oder besser gesagt, die französischen A r b e i t e r f r a u e n — vor!
Auch in den Arbeiterdistrikten Frankreichs gingen — wie so ziemlich überall — in der letzten Zeit die Preise der notwendigsten Nahrungsmittel — Milch, Butter, Eier, Fleisch, Brot, Gemüse etc. — bedeutend in die Höhe. Doch ein großer Teil des französischen Proletariats hat aus seinen Erfahrungen die Lehre gezogen, daß die Obrigkeit, das Parlament und die Regierung
dieser Teuerung nicht abhelfen kann — wie dieselben ja überhaupt teils weder die Macht noch den Willen haben können, irgendwelche Verbesserung in der Lage des arbeitenden Volkes durchzuführen, da die Herrschenden aus den Teuerungszuständen selbst profitieren. Die Arbeiterfrauen, die es natürlich aufs unmittelbarste zu fühlen bekommen, daß der heimgebrachte Lohn ihrer Männer für immer weniger und weniger im Haushalt reichte, sparten sich auch die Mühe, Bittgesuche an die Regierung und Protestresolutionen ans Parlament einzureichen — sie taten sich lieber zusammen, u m s i c h s e l b s t zu helfen.
Die aufgeweckteren und energischeren unter ihnen riefen die übrigen Genossinnen ihrer Stadt oder ihres Distriktes zu einer Besprechung zusammen. Da wurde dann der Preis für die verschiedenen Lebensmittel festgesetzt: von dem und dem T a g an d a r f der Liter Milch nicht mehr als 19 Centimes (19 h), das Kilo Butter nicht mehr als soundsoviel kosten usw. Von den Händlern, die höhere Preise rechnen, wird n i c h t s gekauft; die Hausfrauen, die höhere Preise z a h l e n , werden gesellschaftlich und im Umgang boykottiert, d. h. als Verräterinnen an der gemeinsamen guten Sache behandelt.
Diese Beschlüsse wurden den Händlern zur Kenntnis gebracht, mit der Aufforderung, ihre Preise entsprechend herabzusetzen. Den nächsten T a g erschienen die Arbeiterfrauen in Gruppen am Markt: wenn die Verkäufer die Lebensmittel zu den von den Konsumenten festgesetzten niedrigeren Preisen abgaben, ging alles in Ordnung vor s i c h ; jene aber, die nicht gleich nachgeben wollten, wurden umringt, man sagte ihnen gehörig die Meinung, und wenn sie hartnäckig auf ihre höheren Preise beharrten oder auf die Forderungen der Käufer mit Grobheiten oder Tätlichkeiten antworteten, wurden ihre Wagen und Stände im Nu leer, indem man einfach darnach griff und blos die nach eigener Preisbestimmung bemessene Geldsumme diesen Händlern hinwarf.
Diese direkte Aktion verfehlte selten ihren Zweck. Nach einigen solchen Vorkommnissen genügte sogar oft schon die bloße Drohung mit derselben, um die Preise herabzusetzen. Alle Preise wurden beträchtlich vermindert.
Freilich lief die Sache nicht immer so glatt ab. An manchen Orten versuchten die Händler unter dem Schutze der Obrigkeit (welche die Märkte durch die Polizei bewachen ließ, um die „ O r d n u n g ” aufrecht zu erhalten) ihre ausbeuterischen Preise auch weiterhin den Käufern aufzuzwingen. Aber
die Käufer kamen nicht; der Markt w u r d e b o y k o t t i e r t. Teils freiwillig, teils gezwungen, verzichteten sie auf einige T a g e auf die in Frage stehenden Lebensmittel und die Händler mußten ihre Waren verderben lassen oder nach Hause zurücktransportieren, wenn sie nicht die Preise herabsetzten.
Gruppen von Demonstranten bewachten die Zugänge der Städte, streiften auf der Landstraße und um die Gehöfte herum und ließen keinen Milchwagen, keinen Butter- und Eiertransport durch, dessen Verkäufer Sich nicht verpflichtete, den P r e i s t a r i f d e r K o n s u m e n t e n anzunehmen. Hatte sich ein Händler dennoch in die Stadt eingeschlichen und versuchte er, seine Ware im Geheimen an Boykottbrecher abzusetzen, wurde sein Laden ausgekundschaftet und dann desto mehr bedrängt. Oft wurde von den verbündeten Arbeiterfrauen eine noch bessere Taktik angewandt. Diese bestand darin, daß die Käufer die Ware der renitenten Verkäufer mit Beschlag belegten: Sie wählten einige unter sich aus, die auf der Stelle den Verkauf dieser Lebensmittel, zum Preis, den die Konsumenten festgesetzt hatten, bewerkstelligten ; das Erträgnis wurde dann dem Verkäufer eingehändigt. In manchen Städten erzwangen die Demonstranten — oft durch einen kurzen Generalstreik sämtlicher Arbeiter — überdies auch die A b s c h a f f u n g der städischen Verzehrungssteuer.
Welch ein Gegensatz zwischen diesen zielbewußten und zweckentsprechenden selbständigen wirtschaftlichen Vorgehen der französischen Arbeiterfrauen und dem wüsten Krawall, in den sich das immer am Gängelband der Politiker geführte, arme Wiener Proletariat hat hineinhetzen lassen und der nichts als ein brutales Nieder- trampeln des Volkes durch bewaffnete und richterliche Gewalt nach sich ziehen konnte!
W a s dem Proletariat nottut, das ist die klare Erkenntnis dessen, w a s e s will, und die Erfahrung, daß es das, was es braucht, nur s e l b s t , durch e i g e n e Kraft erringen kann. Kürzere Arbeitszeit und höhere L ö h n e , erschwingbare Lebensmittel- und Wohnungspreise — all dies kann nur durch
das unmittelbare Eingreifen (die direkte Aktion) jener, die dessen bedürfen, erreicht, werden — dadurch, daß die Arbeiter und Arbeiterinnen mit einem, alle umfassenden, gemeinsamen Entschluß s i c h w e i g e r n , längere Zeit und für weniger Lohn zu arbeiten und höhere Preise für ihre Woh-
nungen und Lebensbedürfnisse zu bezahlen. Auf diese Weise werden sie nicht nur eine sofortige zeitweilige Erleichterung ihrer Lebenslage erreichen, sondern sie werden durch fortwährende Übung ihre Macht erkennen und festigen, die in ihrer Arbeit, ihrem selbständigen Handeln und ihrem Zusammenhalten liegt — und mit dieser Macht werden sie alsbald im Stande sein, den Gesellschaftszustand, aus welchem ihre Armut entspringt, von Grund aus und auf immer umzugestalten. Sie werden eine Gesellschaft begründen, wo die Erde und die Arbeitsmittel und deren Erträgnis jenen gehören, die dieselben brauchen und gebrauchen, und wo das arbeitende Volk, in Gruppen und Föderationen vereinigt, ohne Herrschaft uud fremde Einmischung seine Angelegenheiten regelt: Eine Gesellschaft des Wohlstandes und der Freiheit für Alle, die k o m m u n i s t i s c h e A n a r c h i e .
Wo aber dieses Ideal und die Energie zum selbständigen Handeln dafür fehlen, da wird da? arbeitende Volk immer ausgebeutet und geknechtet bleiben. Sogar seine Empörungen gegen unerträgliche Zustände — wenn es sich noch zu solchen aufraffen kann — werden dazu mißbraucht werden, um e i n e herrschende Politikantenkaste zu G u n s t e n e i n e r a n d e r e n z u stürzen.
Folgen die Arbeiter immer nur blindlings den Anordnungen ihrer Führer, ohne selbst nachzudenken, wie die Befolgung dieser Befehle ihre eigenen Interessen berührt, wie es leider in Österreich durch die Bank der Fall ist — dann werden sie immer nur ein W e r k z e u g für das politische Diäten-
Interesse dieser Führer sein, wie der 17. September es u n s lehrt. Sie w e r d e n sich die Köpfe einschlagen lassen, d a m i t einige Gemeinderäte und A b g e o r d n e t e , G e w e r k s c h a f t s – und Parteibeamte ihre Herrschaft — u n t e r welcher die M a s s e d e s P r o l e t a r i a t s s c h o n letzt genugsam zu leiden h a t — n o c h m e h r befestigen und ausdehnen.

(Deutsch) Nieder-Österreich.

Aus. Wohlstand für Alle:

“Hilf Dir s e l b s t ! ”
Im sozialdemokratischen „Druckerei-Arbeiter” finden wir folgende vernünftige Betrachtung ü b e r die gegenwärtige T e u e r u n g : „Auf die Verbilligung der Lebensmittel und Bedarfsartikel a b z i e l e n d e p a r l a m e n t a r i s c h e Aktionen haben — wie die Fleischfrage b e w e i s t
— trotz allen Anstrengungen . . , . wenig o d e r gar keinen Erfolg. Die Regierung macht einfach, w a s sie will. Die Ausgaben für Heer und Flotte, die innerhalb der letzten zehn Jahre ungeahnte Steigerungen aufweisen, m ü s s e n bewilligt werden, wodurch die Staatsschulden ins unendliche
wachsen, w a s w i e d e r die Anziehung d e r Steuerschraube zur Folge hat. D e s h a l b gibt es in d e r Frage der Lebensmittelteuerung für die Angehörigen des arbeitenden S t a n d e s nur den einen R a t : Hilf Dir selbst I . . .”
Wie gesagt, s e h r vernünftige Ansichten, ganz die unsrigen. Aber sie schlagen d e r ganzen praktischen Politik d e r sozialdemokratischen Partei direkt ins Gesicht. D e n n diese hat gegenwärtig, in dieser Zeit d e s Lebensmittel- und W o h n u n g s w u c h e r s nicht gleich uns die Devise d e s M i e t e r z i n s s t r e i k e s — hier w ä r e d a s : „Hilf dir selbst!” — s o n d e r n die L o s u n g a u s g e g e b e n , die Regierung o d e r d a s P a r l a m e n t m ö g e helfen, w a s , wie der „Druckerei-Arbeiter” selbst einsieht, zwecklos ist. Im G e g e n t e i l : D a s Schwätzen im
Parlament ist eine t e u r e S t e u e r s c h r a u b e mehr fürs Volk, und d a ß d i e s e s S c h w ä t z e n z w e c k l o s ist, w i r d bald selbst d e r d ü m m s t e Kerl von Wien eingesehen haben.
Hilf Dir selbst, a r b e i t e n d e s Volk, d a s ist die richtige Abhilfe g e g e n ü b e r der T e u e r u n g . Hilf dir Übst durch den Mieterzinsstreik, durch deine wirtschaftlich g e s c h l o s s e n e Solidaritätsmacht. Hilf Du Dir selbst, dann erst hilft Dir Gott — also der Staat.
Das F a z i t . Endlich sind die barbarischen Justizabschlachtungen der unglücklichen Opfer der sozialdemokratischen Taktik vom 17. S e p t e m b e r zum Stillstand g e b r a c h t w o r d e n . Aber nicht durch den Aktionsmut d e r wirtschaftlichen M a s s e n p r o t e s t – Betätigung der W i e n e r Arbeiter, s o n d e r n dadurch, daß glücklicherweise d a s Material zu Ende war.
Es gab nichts mehr zu verurteilen, die lange Liste der verurteilten war erschöpft, und so nahm die justizbarbarei ihr E n d e , wie denn alles ein Ende nehmen muß.
Fassen wir nun z u s a m m e n und bieten wir den österreichischen Arbeitern die übersichtliche Liste der Schreckensurteile dar. Die kalte Sprache der Ziffern und Zahlen zeigt f o l g e n d e s :
Vom W i e n e r Landesgericht und vom Bezirksgericht Josefstadt wurden wegen d e r Ereignisse am 17. S e p t e m b e r und den folgenden Tagen bisher 173 P e r s o n e n verurteilt, und zwar 82 P e r s o n e n wegen V e r b r e c h e n s mit Kerker o d e r schwerem Kerker, 91 P e r s o n e n w e g e n Vergehens der Übertretung mit Arrest oder strengem Arrest. Die Strafen d e r „Verbrecher” betragen 51 Jahre, 3 Monate und 23 W o c h e n , die der wegen Versehens und Übertretung Verurteiltung 4 Jahre, 10 Monate und 1 W o c h e . D a s traurige Ergebnis d e r Tätigkeit der Demonstrationsrichter sind also Strafen von 56 J a h r e n , 1 M o n a t und 24 W o c h e n .
Dazu k o m m e n vielleicht noch an hundert Bestrafungen durch die Polizei, die ebenfalls zwei Jahre ausmachen dürften, und eine Untersuchungshaft von zweihundert Personen (der Verurteilten und der Freigesprochenen) durch durchschnittlich mindestens zehn T a g e , w a s wieder sechs Jahre ausmacht. Einzelne Abstrafungen dürften auch bei anderen Bezirksgerichten vorgekommen sein, so daß außer den bisherigen fünf Todesopfern, den Schmerzen der ungezählten Verletzten an s i e b z i g J a h r e F r e i h e i t a v e r l u s t d a s Ergebnis der polizeilichen, militärischen und gerichtlichen Ordnungsmacherei sind.
So gestaltet sich d i e „Verantwortung” d e r Sozialdemokratie für die Arbeiter, dieses ist-das Fazit ihrer „Taktik”. W a s aber d a s Schmachvollste an dieser Sache ist, bei der wir der Toten, die auf der Strecke blieben und so manches anderen gar nicht gedenken, w a s ihr die Krone aufsetzt, das ist der Umstand der absoluten T a t e n – und Aktionslosigkeit der Partei angesichts dieser aufpeitschen- den Urteile durch die Justiz. Sie hat so gehandelt, wie wir es vorausgesagt haben, sie hat eine Interpellation im Reichsrat eingebracht. Darin, im Papier, erschöpft sich die Aktion dieser so mächtigen Partei. D a s P a p i e r dieser Interpellation ist schon längst unter Aktenbündeln selig begraben, ganz so wie die armen Verführten des 17. Septembers in der Nacht ihres Kerkers unselig begraben sind. — Die Flut s t e i g t !
Bei der Nachwahl im XVI. Bezirk Wiens, die Anfang dieses Monats stattfand, ist die Sozialdemokratie, wie v o r a u s z u s e h e n war, natürlich als Siegerin über den christlichsozialen Kandidaten, einem Fabrikanten, hervorgegangen. Aber w a s sie mit schlauem Stillschweigen zu verdecken sucht, ist der Umstand unseres zunehmenden Einflusses auf die Arbeitermassen, der sich in energischer, die Politiker aller Parteien mit Verachtung behandelnder, zunehmender Abgabe von leeren Stimmzetteln manifestiert.
Bei der letzten Reichsratswahl im Juni I. J. sind 1135 l e e r e Stimmzettel abgegeben w o r d e n ; bei der Wahl am 3. Oktober, also kaum dreieinhalb Monate später, schon 1899.
W e n n es so weiter geht, werden die Politikanten aller Parteien sich bald energisch nach den Dummen umsehen müssen, die ihnen an die Krippe der Diäten verhelfen. Die Flut steigt, es wird höchste Zeit, Herr S e v e r !

(Deutsch) Ein halbes Jahrhundert Kerker!

Aus. Wohlstand für Alle! Vom 11.10.1911

Noch arbeiten Bezirksgericht und Landesgericht in eifrigster Übereinstimmung daran, sich gegenseitig in ihrer unverhohlenen Klassenjustiz die Stange zu halten, mit der die Exzedenten vom 17. September verurteilt werden. Rund zwei Dutzend haben Kerkerstrafen von mindestens e i n e m J a h r e bekommen, und die obige Zahlensumme dürfte, wenn unsere Leser diese Zeilen lesen, weit überschritten sein; erst in einigen Wochen werden die Gerichte mit ihrer grausen Arbeit ganz fertig sein, und wir werden dann nicht verfehlen, die ungeheuerliche Totalsumme der verhängten Strafen vollzählig mitzuteilen.

Und was tut die Sozialdemokratie gegen dieses Vorgehen der Justiztücke gegen diejenigen, von denen die Prozeßverhandlungen aufs unzweideutigste bekunden, zu welcher Partei sie gehören? Nichts rührt sich, um der Justizfurie ein Halt zuzurufen, außer dummen Drohbriefen, die dem Gerichtssenat geschrieben wurden.
Die “große Partei”, die Siegerin vom 13. Juni — jetzt schlottert sie in Ohnmacht, Unvermögen, und ihre ganze Aktion erschöpft sich in hohlen, greinenden Worten. Bedauerlich sind die Unglücklichen, die dieser Partei auf den Leim gegangen, für keine edle Sache, kein Prinzip, sondern nur die Führerpolitik leiden; verlassen und verraten sind sie von der „Arbeiterpartei”.
Wann wird, so fragen wir h i e r m i t die s o z i a l d e m o k r a t i s c h e P a r t e i leitung, ihr die Zeit als reif zur Einleitung der P r o p a g a n d a und O r g a n i s a t i o n für d e n G e n e r a l s t r e i k d ü n k e n ? Nur dieser könnte die Justizopfer retten!
Und wie zum Hohne ist in den letzten zwei Wochen wieder alles teurer geworden, besonders aber die Milch, die Kohle, das Petroleum und der Zucker. Das sind die Haushaltsgegenstände des Proletariats, die notwendigsten Bedürfnisartikel. Zugleich stieg auch das Bier im Preis.
Was gedenkt die Sozialdemokratie gegen die Milchverteuerung zu tun? Sie gedenkt gar nichts dagegen zu tun, sondern “verlangt” ausschließlich— die Einfuhr des argentinischen Fleisches. Dieses Fleisch ist wichtiger als die Milch . . .

(Deutsch) Manifest an das arbeitende Volk von Wien.

Aus. Wohlstand für Alle! Wien, 27.September 1911 4 Jg. Nr. 18

Der 17. September wird in der Geschichte der österreichischen Arbeiterschaft stets verzeichnet sein als ein Tag des Mordes, der Gewalt und Unterdrückung.

An diesem Tage zeigte sich wieder einmal in lebendiger drastischer Form, was der Militarismus ist.
Blut ist geflossen, und es war Arbeiterblut, das vergossen wurde. Soldaten, unsere Arbeitsbrüder in der Livree des Militarismus sind es gewesen, die mit gefälltem Bajonett auf jene ihrer Arbeitsbrüder in der Armee der Lohnsklaverei einstürmten, die in friedlicher Massendemonstration sich flehend an die Herrschenden und Gewaltigen wandten, ihr Los des Elends, verursacht durch die zur Verzweiflung treibende Teuerung, zu erleichtern, zu mildern.
Ach, wie lächerlich, wie absurd-kleinlich war die Forderung, um die sich die ganze, von der Sozialdemokratie eingeleitete und inszenierte, dabei zwecklose Demonstration drehte. Einführung des argentinischen Fleisches verlangen die soz.-dem. Führer, obgleich sie wohl wissen müssen, daß dieses Fleisch die allgemeine Teuerung n i c h t beheben, ja nicht einmal verringern k a n n ; daß der Arbeiter mit seinem Durchschnittslohn nicht einmal dieses Fleisch zu kaufen im Stande ist.
Es ist traurig, daß die Arbeiterschaft Wiens sich noch gebrauchen läßt zu solchen Luftballonforderungen, die von den Politikern der Sozialdemokratie absichtlich deshalb aufgestellt werden, um ihre Tatlosigkeit zu verdecken, damit die Massen nicht einsehen sollen, daß all die während der Wahl gegebenen Versprechungen der Politiker aller Parteien eitel Lug und Trug sind. Deshalb opfert die Sozialdemokratie aus niedrigsten Mandatsdiäteninteressen, ihre prinzipiellen sozialistischen Forderungen, ihre gewerkschaftliche Kraft und Möglichkeit, sich gegen die Teuerung zu stemmen — und fordert die Arbeiter auf, zu „demonstrieren”.
Wofür? Eine Demonstration muß, um zu wirken, die Androhung mit dieser oder jener A k t i o n sein. Die Sozialdemokratie verschweigt aber geflissentlich jede wirtschaftlich einschneidende Aktion wirtschaftlicher Natur gegen die Teuerung, weil dies die Massen dazu brächte, zu erkennen, daß sie keine politischen und z e n t r a l i s i e r t e n Bürokratenführer brauchen, sondern selbst imstande sind, sich sozial zu heben und die Teuerung niederzuringen.
Wofür demonstrierten die Sozialdemokraten, wenn ihre Hauptanführer in der letztwöchentlichen Obmännerkonferenz im Parlament selbst erklärt haben, sie tun ihr Möglichstes, um die Massen von jeder Aktion z u r ü c k z u h a l t e n ? !
Jede solche Demonstration soll eben nur eine politische Staffage für die Herren Führer bilden. Sonst ist sie ganz zwecklos, — nur unendlich gefährlich. Sie stellt dem bis an die Zähne bewaffneten Militarismus geschlossene Menschenmassen entgegen, die, ganz abgesehen davon, daß sie unbewaffnet sind, dem Militarismus die strategisch beste Angriffsfläche darbieten, der gegenüber er allmächtig ist.

W o h e r nehmen die s o z i a l d e m o k r a t i s c h e n Führer das Verantwortlichkeitsgefühl, riesige, unbewaffnete Massen dem bewaffneten Militarismus entgegen zu stellen?
Sie rühmen sich immer ihrer „Verantwortung” für d a s arbeitende Volk. Wo bleibt ihr Verantwortungsgefühl in solchen Situationen, in denen, wie am 17. September, der geringste Anlaß genügt, um einen Zusammenstoß zwischen Militär und Polizei einerseits, dem Volk anderseits herbeizuführen ?

Arbeiter Wiens, wir warnen euch davor, euch als politisches Schwungbrett für einige Führer gebrauchen zu lassen, die euch weder im Parlament noch außerhalb helfen können noch werden. Laßt euch nicht in Straßentumulte, in Radaumachereien, in sinnlose — wenn auch aus eurer Noterklärliche und wohl entschuldbare — Handlungen h i n e i n h e t z e n . Gebraucht euren gesunden revolutionären Geist, zu sozialwirtschaftlichen Massenaktionen euerer Gewerkschaften, die nichts mit Gewalt zu tun haben, sondern die Gewalt der Herrschenden euch gegenüber zum Stillstand bringen, sie paralisieren und euere soziale Lage raschest verbessern werden.
Warum ist der Verzweiflungsausbruch des Wiener Volkes vom 17. September erfolgt? Weil die Sozialdemokratie euch lehrt, gegen die Teuerung könne euch nur das Parlament helfen, und wenn es euch nicht helfe, dann bleibt euch eigentlich nichts anderes übrig als der W e g roher, blindlings wütender Gewalt. Diese vergiftende, geistig verblödende Theorie ist es, die euch am 17. September dem Militarismus und der Polizei — für dieses Gewaltwerkzeug der Regierung tritt die Wiener „Arbeiterzeitung” immer warm ein! — zum Opfer brachte. Kein Parlament der Welt kann der Teuerung abhelfen, denn das Parlament ist ein Schwatzklub von der Regierung hochbezahlter Schwätzer, und die Regierung ist finanziell und materiell die wahre Urheberin der T e u e r u n g ; sie umfaßt den agrarischen wie den industriellen Kapitalismus und wird deshalb der T e u e r n g niemals abhelfen.

Wenn ihr die Teuerung bekämpfen wollt, habt ihr keine Gewalt nötig, s o n d e r n die geeinte Solidarität eures wirtschaftlichen Willens ! W o sind jetzt eure Gewerkschaften, an die ihr so hohe Beiträge bezahlt? W a s bieten sie euch j e t z t ? W a s tun sie jetzt für e u c h ? Nicht das Geringste, denn ihre Führer sind auch politische Streber, ja meistenteils dieselben, die euch als Abgeordnete mit dem Schwindel des Parlamentarismus narren.

Seht nach Frankreich! Dort hat die revolutionäre Gewerkschaftskonföderation auf eigene Faust die Aktion gegen die Teuerung unternommen. Und ohne Parlament, ohne Vertreter im Parlament haben die revolutionären Gewerkschaftler die Regierung gezwungen, nachzugeben und eine Ermäßigung der Preise für die Lebensmittel wurde durchgesetzt. Statt Demonstrationen ohne Ziel, haben die französischen Arbeiter in Dutzenden von Orten den G e n e r a l s t r e i k
für h ö h e r e n L o h n erklärt.

Ist eine solche Aktion des wirtschaftlichen Kampfes nicht zweckmäßiger als leere Demonstrationsspaziergänge mit nachfolgender Niedersäbelung, Niedermetzelung, Niederschießung durch die bewaffnete G e waltsmacht des S t a a t e s : den Militarismus?!
W a s gedenkt ihr zu tun zu Ehren des am 17. September gefallenen, irregeleiteten, aber wackeren Proleten, eures Bruders, der erschossen oder von Bajonetten erdolcht w u r d e , zur Ehre des gesamten Österreichichischen Proletariats?

Ihr wollt Interpellationen einbringen lassen? Welche Selbstverhöhnung! Ihr liefert damit der Regierung nur das Papier zu — hinterlistigen Zwecken . . .

Wir haben euch einen anderen Vorschlag zu machen.
Ihr Arbeiter Wiens seid an die Hunderttausend stark gewerkschaftlich organisiert. Wofür zahlt ihr an die Gewerkschaften eure Beiträge, wenn diese eure Lebenslage nicht verbessern k ö n n e n ? Fordert nun, daß die Gewerkschaftsbewegung W i e n s , von ganz Österreich, die Idee des Mieterzinsstreikes propagiere und durch geschlossene Einheit zur Durchführung bringe.

Nicht mit Gewalt und Straßentumultszenen werdet ihr eure Lage verbessern.
Nur d a d u r c h : daß ihr b e w e i s t , daß ihr, angesichts der herrschenden Teuerung, die enormen Mietzinse in ihrer Steigerung nicht mehr bezahlen wollt noch könnt. Solange ihr sie bezahlt, k ö n n t ihr sie bezahlen; s o l a n g e ihr sie bezahlen wollt, werdet ihr sie bezahlen. Aber erst dann, wenn ihr sie nicht länger bezahlt, dann erst könnt ihr wirklich sie nicht länger bezahlen!
Der Mieterzinsstreik ist das einzige, momentan der Arbeiterschaft gegebene Mittel, durch d a s sie die Lebensmittelteuerung bekämpfen kann. Gewerkschaftlich organisierte Arbeiter Wiens, arbeitendes Volk — verlangt von euren Organisationsfunktionären, daß sie sofort eine G e n e r a l v e r s a m m l u n g aller A r b e i t e r o r g a n i s a t i o n e n W i e n s einberufen, in der die Kampfaktion des Mieterstreikes, dieser proletarischen direkten Aktion, erörtert und organisiert wird. Wenn eure Führer die „Verantwortung” dafür übernehmen können, daß ihr in nutzlosen Demonstrationen wehr- und waffenlos e r s c h o s s e n werdet — dann müssen sie die Verantwortung übernehmen wollen für eine wirtschaftliche Kampfesaktion der Arbeiterklasse zur sofortigen Bekämpfung der Teuerung! Fragt sie selbst, ob sie euch andere Mittel angeben können.
Sie können es nicht, denn das einzige, schon von einigen Tausenden von Familien — Mann und Frau sind hier gleichberechtigte Kämpfer! — durchzuführende Mittel ist und bleibt der


Arbeiter, bewahrt Besonnenheit, Kaltblütigkeit und eure Entschlossenheit. Laßt euch nicht zu zwecklosem Theaterdonner — denn das sind Demonstrationen ohne Ziel! — mißbrauchen; haltet fest zusammen und baut einzig und allein auf eure Solidarität in kraftvoller Kampfesaktion, in Angriff genommen durch eure Gewerkschaften.

D e r 17. S e p t e m b e r lehrt euch die unbedingte W i c h t i g k e i t der Propaganda des zielbewußten A n t i m i l i t a r i s m u s , die die Sozialdemokratie vollständig unterläßt.
Der 17. September soll euch lehren, welchen W e g des Kampfes ihr zu betreten habt:

H i n w e g mit d e m Schwindel des P a r l a m e n t a r i s m u s ! Es l e b e der Generalstreik!

H i n w e g mit d e m Schwindel von D e m o n s t r a t i o n e n , d i e nichts anderes d e m o n s t r i e r e n sollen als saft- und kraftlose Resolutionen!

B e g i n n e t die d i r e k t e Aktion des Mieterzinsstreikes!

Allgemeine Gewerkschaftsföderation von Wien.

Allgemeine Gewerkschaftsföderation in Wien.
Vereinslokal im Gasthaus „zur Bretze”, XVI.
Grundsteingasse 25. Zusammenkunft jeden Montag ab 7 Uhr abends. Vortrag mit anschließender freier Diskussion. Gäste herzlich willkommen.
Mitgliederaufnahme bei Joh. Holub, XVII/,. Seitenberggasse 69, II/19, an den alle Zuschriften zu richten sind.

(Deutsch) Klassenurteile – 17. September 1911

Anklagen und Strafen

Wegen des Verbrechens öffentlicher Gewalttätigkeit (Bewerfen der Wache mit Steinen) wurde der Angeklagte 27 jährige Anstreichergehilfe Adolf L zu 2 Jahren schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der 21jährige Tischlergehilfe Franz M. wurde zu 2 Monaten Gefängnis verurteilt, weil er „Hoch die Revolution“ gerufen hatte.

Der 45jährige Arbeiter Johann K. hat bei der Räumung der Stadiongasse einem Wachmann einen Stockhieb versetzt und ihn „dummer Kerl“ geschimpft. Er sagt aus, dass er nicht „dummer“, sondern bloß „depperter Kerl“ gesagt hat. Das Urteil lautete auf 1 Monat Arrest.

Der 19jährige Schmiedgehilfe Josef K. ist beschuldigt, in der Kirchstettengasse eine Laterne zerschlagen zu haben, leugnet aber. Aufgrund einer Zeugenaussage, dass er ein Wurfgeschoss gegen einen Inspektor warf wird er zu einem Jahr schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der 54jährige Silberschmiedgehilfe Adolf B. war wegen Vergehens des Auflaufs angeklagt. Nachdem zugegeben hatte, das er gesagt hatte „haut sie nieder!“ wurde er zu 2 Monaten strengen Kerkers verurteilt, wobei er einen Strafaufschub erhielt.

Der 24jährige Eisenbahnbedienstete Karl R. wird wegen Auflaufs und Nichtfolgeleistung den Ort zu verlassen in Ottakring zu 10 Tagen einfachen Arrests verurteilt.

Der 29jährige Schneider Josef P., der 45jährige Buchdrucker Max B., der 21jährige Taschner Anton S. und der 29jährige Hilfsarbeiter Leopold H. haben sich gemeinsam wegen Vergehens des Auflaufs und S. auch wegen Wortstreit zu verantworten, da er auf die Aufforderung der Wache, fort zu gehen, mit lauter Stimme erwiderte „Wir sind österreichische Staatsbürger und können stehen, wo wir wollen!“. Der Gerichtshof verurteilte jeden Angeklagten zu je 10 Tagen Arrest.

Der 19jährige Sattlergehilfe Johann R. hatte in der Thaliastraße in Ottakring einen besetzten Straßenbahnwagen mit Steinen bombardiert und auch die einschreitende Wache mit Steinen beworfen. Der Gerichtshof verurteilte den Angeklagten zu 1 Jahr schweren und verschärften Kerker.

Der Schneidergehilfe Franz R. soll in der Taubergasse mehrere Gaslaternen eingeschlagen haben. Er wurde wegen boshafter Sachbeschädigung zu 3 Monaten Arrest verurteilt. R. hat Berufung angemeldet.

Leopold L. soll am 18. September in Ottakring ein Plakat der Polizei, in welcher diese besondere Sicherheitsvorkehrungen angekündigt hatte, heruntergerissen haben. Der Richter verurteilte den Angeklagten wegen Übertretung nach § 315 StGB zu drei Tagen Arrest.

Der Richter verurteilte den Angeklagten Franz B. wegen Einmengung in eine Amtshandlung zu vierzehn Tagen Arrest.

Der Gerichtshof verurteilte den 20jährigen Zimmermannsgehilfen Otto R. zu einem Jahr schweren Kerker, weil er eine Laterne durch einen Steinwurf zerstört hatte und dieses leugnete.

Der 20jährige Franz H. wurde zu 15 Monaten schweren Kerkers verurteilt, weil er einen Ziegelstein gegen ein Fiakerpferd geworfen hatte, und dieses zusammenbrach. Die Wache konnte H. erst später verhaften, weil die Menge eine drohende Haltung einnahm.

Der 20jährige Franz R. hat am 17. des Monats in Ottakring Steine gegen die Wache und das Militär geworfen und wurde zu 1 Jahre schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der Bürodiener Johann B. hat aus Neugierde den Demonstrationen zugesehen und soll, als er verhaftet wurde, dem Wachmann einen Stoß versetzt haben. Der Angeklagte wurde zu 3 Monaten schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der Schuhoberteilherrichter Franz W., 20 Jahre alt, hat um 4 Uhr nachmittags am 17. September in der Hasnerstraße eine Laterne eingeschlagen. Der Gerichtshof verurteilte ihn zu 6 Monaten schweren Kerkers.

Der 24jährige Schlossergehilfe Karl B. soll Sonntag um halb vier in der Panikengasse Steine auf die Wache geworfen haben. Der Gerichtshof verurteilte den Angeklagten zu 15 Monaten schweren Kerkers. B. meldete die Nichtigkeitsbeschwerde an.

Der 24jährige Schneidergehilfe Johann R., der einer nationalen Arbeiterpartei angehört, hatte sich am Gürtel des Auflaufs und der Wachebeleidigung schuldig gemacht und wurde zu einer Woche Arrest verurteilt.

Vor dem Jugendsenate war in der 1. Verhandlung der 16jährige Lehrling Eduard Z. und der 16jährige Kellnerbursche Franz A. wegen Verbrechens der boshaften Sachbeschädigung angeklagt, weil sie in der Herbststraße Laternen zerschlagen haben sollen zu drei Monaten schweren Kerker.

Der 21jährige Tischlergehilfe Rudolf S. hat am Sonntag nachmittag auf die Wache einen Stein geworfen. Die Strafe lautet auf 1 Jahr schweren Kerkers.

Der 15jährige Lehrling Josef H. hatte am Sonntag um 8 Uhr abends in Ottakring eine Straßenlaterne eingeschlagen und wurde zu vier Monaten schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der 37jährige Tagelöhner Friedrich S. hatte am Sonntag abend einen Ziegelstein gegen eine Laterne geworfen und eine andere ausgelöscht. Urteil: 6 Monate schweren Kerker.

Der 23jährige Schneidergehilfe Josef M., der am Sonntag in der Lichtenfelsgasse von einem Wachmann verhaftet worden war, als er eben einen Stein aufhob, um ihn angeblich gegen ein Fenster zu werfen, wurde zu 8 Monaten schweren Kerkers verurteilt.

Der 18jährige Eisendreher Leopold B., wird wegen Nichtfolgeleistung und „Pfui Wache!“-Rufens zu 14 Tagen Arrest verurteilt.

Der 18jährige Johann B. soll am Hofferplatz in Ottakring mit einem Stock zwei Laternen eingeschlagen haben. Urteil 1 Jahr schweren Kerkers.

Der 23jährige Schlossergehilfe Ferdinand P. ist wegen Auflaufes angeklagt, weil er der Wache zurief „ihr habt selber nichts zu essen“ und der Aufforderung, sich zu entfernen, keine Folge geleistet haben soll. Der Angeklagte wurde nur wegen Einmengung in eine Amtshandlung zu einer Woche Arrest verurteilt.