Instability and collapse!
I was born in Kikinda, Serbia in 1983. Serbia was then a part of Federal People´s Republic of Yugoslavia and had been under the socialist rule of Josip Broz Tito from 1946 to 1980. In the 1990´s political and ethnical conflict escalated leading to the Yugoslav wars. The turmoil in the South-Eastern corner of Europe is the backdrop to my childhood and teenage years.
During Tito´s mild dictatorship Yugoslavia became a regional industrial power and an economic success. He suppressed nationalism and promoted “brotherhood and unity”. With the development of the socialism, the industry, the education and the healthcare systems were flourishing. In the 70´s healthcare was free, literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years.
He neutralized any opposition, including nationalists and separatists while balancing between the east and the west. Taking enormous loans and credits from several financial institutions he stimulated local enterprises and the public sectors. The relationship between Yugoslavia, the Non-Alignment Movement, the European Union and United States couldn’t survive without Tito and it has been argued that his strong position and leadership might be a reason for the Yugoslavian collapse and bloody wars during the 90´s.
In Tito´s model workers owned and managed the companies and public services, such as health care and education, in a form of workplace decision-making. In the inevitable meeting with western capitalism in the late 80´s and early 90´s it became clear that this model couldn´t survive and the economical collapse began. In addition the power vacuum created by Tito´s death in 1980 gave way for nationalistic political ideology that brought on the Yugoslav wars.
Part of my work for the BA show