Transition Heroes by Irena Fabri

Irena Fabri studied at the Dunav Film School, in Serbia (Department for Film and TV Editing), from where she graduated in 2008. She started her professional career in video editing, working for various TV companies, as well as a First Assistant Director on feature films. For this story, Irena and her team were inspired by the seemingly endless transition that they experiencing currently in Serbian society.


Heroes of the transition

You can do numerous things if you live in a devastated city in the Balkans post-civil war, that by the way, started out on the football field.

“Hey man, let’s buy a cannon.”

You can get killed, get devastated like the facades of the socrealistic skyscrapers on the outskirts of what was once the most modern of Le Corbusier’s toy arsenal of communist officials. Or you could get rich, famous, and successful.

“A real cannon. Like in a movie.”
“Which movie?”

Oh, did I mention that the suburbs here lie only a kilometer away from the city center? So there is no Seine-Saint-Denis – 30 kilometers to nearest civilization/white shop; shit.

“I don’t know which fuckin’ movie. I haven’t been to the movies since I was seven.”

“Seven? Fuck! Then Belgrade was THE CITY.”
“But you couldn’t care less. You were only interested in playing football and ogling little girls’ tits while they were playing hula-hoop”.
“But back then we could travel. We had money. We did…”

Well, they didn’t.  They were seven years old. To make a long story short – it was a long time ago. Meanwhile, the war ended. Fruitful and long-awaited democracy came, igniting a small-scale revolution that only included burning the buildings of the National Assembly and National Television. But only a little bit.

“But now we have the money. We are kings of this city.”
“But we only hustle”
“But we have style”
“But everything collapsed”
“But we don’t give a shit about it. Plus… we have style”

And you can see that they care about their style. Along the way, they forgot all about the war and the decay all right…

“Wanna’ get high?”
“Yes. Let’s get high.”
“What about love, culture and decency?”
“What about money?”
“We already have money.”

They didn’t want to get fucked. They fucked others. Like in a haiku. .

“Let’s do some crazy shit.”

If they need some they’ll get it. If someone needs something, they’ll get it. For a reasonable price.

“Like, stay here until we die. “
“Like never go somewhere else? Somewhere better? Berlin? London? Bucharest?”
“Haven’t you heard the latest news? Belgrade is the Berlin of the East.”

Balkan style. Serbian sons. Work hard, party even harder. Or is it other way around?

“Yeah, ok. Belgrade is the City.”

They live the “Banda à part”, although they don’t know jack shit about Jean-Luc Godard and they don’t want to know anything about it. Everything is accessible to them. For a reasonable amount of madness. Or is that just normal in a state of transitional capitalism, where capital is primitively accumulated? If you are not sure, read Karl Marx. Maybe, but just maybe, you will find your heroes there. Alternatively, just call your favorite drug dealer.

“No, man. We are the City. Belgrade is shit. Or whatever.”

Visit Belgrade. Real heroes live here.

Photos by Irena Fabri 
Text by Ivan Jovanović


Instagram: @irena_fabri