JUNE 18 – 22
There have been a number of efforts in the past five decades to determine the political and historical significance of the student demonstrations and strike at the University of Belgrade in the early June of 1968 from a closer or further historical perspective, accompanied by inevitable analyses of the immediate echo of the events among both the public at large and the scholarly, cultural and artistic public. This was also attempted by several publications and TV documentaries, which are particularly useful as sources of historical material, such as personal recollections and comments by participants and witnesses.
Browsing through a certain issues of Student magazine published in 1968 is indispensable for a better understanding of the week-long student protests, both of the events themselves and the circumstances which precipitated them. This magazine, in the service of the students of the Belgrade University, directly testifies to the events during the demonstrations and the strike and the essence and forms of student rebellion, and it also provides an insight into the broader sociopolitical context that triggered them.
“A critique of everything existing implies the freedom of the press, in which dialog and debates play an important role. This ideal was achieved to a certain extent in the issues of Student magazine published in 1968. Their pages teem with pungent comments, polemics, open letters and roundtables. The magazine heralded the end, as we used to say, of the ‘language of Aesop,’ a synonym of the empty, bureaucratic lexis. The problems of workers and peasants are discussed in a feature with the rather telling title, ‘Peasants and workers having a hard time.’ Authentic documentary reportage flourished – people spoke openly, honestly and in everyday language about their problems at work and in public life. Newspapers are not the property of authorities and not even of their editors and journalists, but rather of the citizens. They provide pages on which anyone can voice their troubles and suggest ways in which this world might become a place worth living in,” says Milisav Savić in his text related to the exhibition.