Program: Special Focus

Grants approved – February 2019

Number of grants: 7

1. Workers` Commune Links 

  • RSD: 300.000
  • Project titleKundK (Knjiga & kritika / Book & Critique)

Electronic and printed media in Serbia, in the circumstances of ever-present commercialization, reduced their coverage of culture to the bare minimum. Critical reading of the production of books and literary critique are almost non-existent in local media. There are sporadic articles about books, very often just as marketing tricks or paid ads of big publishers trying to sell their products, but not as real recommendations for readers, who are left to mouth to mouth recommendations. Ever since the 90s there are almost no literary magazines left.

The K&K project has been realized at the Workers Commune Links website since 2017. Its goal is to critically read the book production in the region of former Yugoslavia still interconnected via common language and culture, as well as to scan the cultural, social and political narratives offered to the public in the circumstances of permanent tensions. One of important goals is also to achieve mutual reading in the region of those books that do deal with the common destiny of this part of the world, which became a market fragmentized by nationalism, with no communication between fragments.  Therefore, the goal is to build an alternative network for the evaluation of literary production of the region – network that would be made of young critics and authors. The outcome of the project would be to affirm the currently marginalized themes which are of vital importance to be publicly debated in a post-traumatized society.


2. Roma Women`s Center Bibija 

  • RSD: 160.000
  • Project title: FOR EMPOWERED ROMA WOMEN 

Deteriorating material situation and unstable political scene contributed to additional marginalization of already marginalized social groups (such as Roma women, refugees and displaces persons, as well as people deported from West-European countries). Women, but particularly Roma women are one of the most vulnerable groups. BIBIJA is the first organization of Roma women in Serbia, founded and led by a Roma woman for the last 20 years. In order to achieve as much as possible in regard to Roma women`s issues, it is of utmost importance to provide continual institutional support and support for the capacity building of activists. New five-year strategic plan will be developed in 2019. Basis of their work is activism in the field, in Roma settlements, through direct contact with women, which makes it possible to adequately represent the interests of Roma women at local, national and EU level.



3. Roma Women`s Association NADA 

  • RSD: 243.100
  • Project title: Marriage At Second Glance 

Militarist and nationalist cultures enable state and non-state actors to realize, with impunity, their misogynic, racist, homophobic, class and xenophobic agendas aiming to perpetrate power and control. Militarism and nationalism are deeply rooted in patriarchal and traditional Roma community that keeps Roma women and girls subordinated and isolated. Lack of safe spaces in such environment, and deprivation of the human right to education, are greatly influenced by violence, misogynic attitudes and discrimination. Deprivation of the right to childhood due to forced early marriages, and also deprivation of the right to choose partners, present severe violations of human rights of Roma girls, and not part of Roma tradition, as it is often perceived. Even though early and forced marriages are often seen as part of Roma tradition, they mean severe violations of the rights of child and present gender based discrimination. Such marriages are one of possible reasons for statelessness, jeopardize psychological and physical health of girls, expose them to larger risk of domestic violence, and contribute to the higher school dropout rates, which altogether leads to the vicious circle of poverty.

Aim of the activities is education and prevention of early marriages. Work with Roma girls from senior classes of the primary school in Aleksinac will be realized through the support group, in the form of training workshops, lectures and debates. Decision makers, representatives of expert services in primary schools, centers for social welfare, primary health care center and parents will be included into public discussions and the local campaign.


4. Informal Group Nena – Group for Peace and Women`s Rights 

  • RSD: 296.000
  • Project title: Work, Not Hunger – Food, Not Weapons 

Ever since 1991 women`s groups have been organizing the street marches on the occasion of the International Women`s Day – 8thof March. In the first years marches were focused on protesting against war, militarism, nationalism, racism, as well as on promotion of feminism, antimilitarism, and internationalism. Thus all the marches were marked by feminist internationalist solidarity. All the actions promoted the idea of solidarity among women across the world, across all borders and divisions. After the wars ended, March marches started addressing the issues of labor (social/economic rights), and reproductive and sexual rights of women. Both in the war period and later on, identity of women was reduced to the role of mothers, supposed to give births for the needs of state, church, and nation. With the beginning of the criminal privatization and worsening of economic crisis, that caused poverty in the whole country, it is becoming more and more obvious how labor rights of women are being violated, since women were the first to lose their jobs. With the re-traditionalization of society, state keeps violating labor rights of women and poor population (which make a majority in this country). Apart from growing hopelessness, women are exposed to nationalist / militarist propaganda of women as birth giving machines. On one hand, state propaganda is literally terrorizing them with pro-birth messages, and on the other hand, they are being blackmailed, harassed, fired from their jobs exactly because of having children or planning to have children. Therefore, this year we decided to dedicate the march to labor and reproductive rights of women, since they have been exposed for quite some time to attacks not only by the state, but also by the growing clero-fascist forces.


5. Informal Group Women`s Movement 2020 

  • RSD: 300.000
  • Project title: Magazine Women`s Movement – Bibliography 

Project includes writing and publishing printed and digital bibliography of the magazine Women`s Movement (1920–1938). It is a part of the activities on the occasion of 100thanniversary of this magazine. Women`s Movement is the first and oldest feminist magazine in the Yugoslav region in the first half of 20thcentury. Publishing the bibliography would mean collecting and systematizing forgotten and suppressed feminist knowledge this magazine used to produce, which would in turn produce and spread new knowledge in feminist and academic community.

Magazine Women`s Movement was published by the Society for Enlightenment and Protection of Rights of Women. The first owner of the magazine was Milica Dedijer, and Zorka Kasnar was the first editor. In the following years, editors were Katarina Bogdanović, Vera Jovanović, Alojzija Štebi, Darinka Stojanović etc. A circle of associates of the magazine was wide and heterogeneous, since the editorial board gathered associates from across the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes / Yugoslavia, and from different disciplines, while texts were published in Serbian, Croatian and Slovene languages. Magazine was distinctly Yugoslav which was symbolically expressed in its very name too, since it was written in three languages / letters: Cyrillic and Latin (Женски покрет/Ženski pokret) and Slovene (Žensko gibanje). Society that published the magazine organized a number of feminist activities at different levels and in different fields of social engagement. Its members took part in the work of international feminist organizations, which resulted in strong and active connections of Yugoslav feminism with European feminist movements and organizations. Main activities of the Society were related to women`s right to vote, advancement of the legal position of women in family and labor law, as well as to general improvement of the position of women. These and other activities were covered by the Society magazine Women`s Movement, which took the position of radical bourgeois feminism. Due to its Yugoslav character, it raised interest of readers for the magazine and work of the Society all across post-Yugoslav and broader Balkan region.


6. The Centre for Public History

  • RSD: 294.000
  • Project title“Suppressed Memories” – Program of Public Classes on the History of 1990s 

“Suppressed Memories” is a permanent program of public classes of The Centre for Public History on the history of 1990s. Goal of the program is to inspire dialogue in public space on social processes and events from the recent past that had shaped our present lives, as well as to rethink the functions of remembering and forgetting in the context of values used as fundaments for building the contemporary society in Serbia. Focused on the history of 1990s, historical sightseeing tours include visits to the places of remembrance that testify of the events concerning break-up of Yugoslavia, armed conflicts, and especially antiwar resistance. The program is intended for all citizens of Belgrade and Serbia.

Public tours will be dedicated to the memories of armed conflicts and resistance to war in Belgrade in 1990s, its potentials and limitations, ways it corresponded to the broader social and historical context; but also to the discussion on why some places of resistance do not exist in our public and political memories. We believe it is of utmost importance for the understanding of present political situation in Serbia and the region to understand the attitude of our society toward its past, and also to understand suppressing of certain memories that call for broader social responsibility.  Struggle against militarism, nationalism and racism demand, above all, reflection and understanding how such phenomena occurred, as well as recognition of the factors that set up the terrain for development of militarism in a society. Since the prevailing memory of the 90s in Serbia today does not include neither respect for “other” victims nor understanding of the responsibility of Serbia for crimes that were committed, and still sees “others” as enemies, it is important to publicly raise these issues, using historical facts and public spaces that testify of that part of our history.


7. Women`s Center Užice

  • RSD: 300.000
  • Project title: From Remembering Women Anti-Fascists from Zlatibor District to Setting Up Sonja Drljević Foundation Within the Women’s Center Užice 

Goal of the project is to revive and record the history of more or less known women from the history of Užice region, i.e. Zlatibor District. This project would be a starting point in setting up the Sonja Drljević Foundation within the Women’s Center Užice, that would deal with collecting and production of knowledge by close cooperates and comrades of Sonja Drljević in all spheres of her engagement (grassroots activism, women’s studies, anarcho-syndicalism, cooperatives and labor rights of women, eco-feminism etc.).

This project is the result of many years of talking and thinking with Sonja and would like to introduce young women and future generations to the history of women-feminist actions in an understandable and simple manner. Sonja considered it necessary to make theoretical knowledge of the feminist movement an integral part of activism, and thought that one cannot function without the other.