Personal Is Political PHOTOGRAPHER SLOBODAN RANDJELOVIĆ’S NEW BOOK LAYS BARE THE REALITY OF QUEER PEOPLE LIVING IN SERBIA, WHERE A LONGSTANDING WAR FOR EQUAL RIGHTS RAGES ON.
36 NOVEMBER 2018 OUT
By Coco Romack
FOLLOWING THE TUMULT of the Balkan wars in the 1990s, the inland nation of Serbia found itself in political limbo. In 2000, the government under president Slobodan Milošević was ousted, its head given up to The Hague and tried for crimes against humanity in relation to the Bosnian genocide. Serbian LGBTQ organizations, which had been vocally anti-war and anti-nationalist in the later part of the ’90s, were excited to capitalize on the nation’s fresh commitment to democratic ideals. But in 2001, their optimism proved premature: Belgrade’s ﬁrst attempt at a pride parade, scheduled just two days after Milošević’s arrest, was met with brutal violence from right-wing extremists, nationalists, and neoNazis with lingering commitments to the old regime. Images of bloodied marchers were broadcast around the world. In the late 2000s, when Serbia was vying for a spot within the European Union, LGBTQ rights became a hot-button topic. In the year of Serbia’s application