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Belgrade: Novo Beograd


Branimir Mrdakovic:

"These housing estates have been built in the 1970s and I moved in here when I was a child, this was one of the first blocks which have been realised at that time. So this is my old school you see in the back. This area used to be much more beautiful, I mean in the 70s and 80s, the place was much better maintained, less cars, less litter and it was much more comfortable to life here.

The general organistion among the people used to be much more intensive, people socialised much more and we had common activities in the courtyard and people were looking after each other. It used to be a real common place. When I was a child we had our own little gardens and we even created our own rooms like little towns inside the town. I can not observe this any more today, children have different interests and I think they have lost the relation to flowers and trees, their interests have become more materialistic.

Concerning the reasons why you must see that this used to be akind of sub-community, I mean a yugoslavic sub-community and nobody cared about ethnic origins. Today, everything has become separated and the community has broken off. People do not even say hello to each other any more. It is completely different, worse, I do not agree at all.

In my childhood not the entire area around here was covered with buildings and when we went outside we directly came to a natural lake for bathing. There was also a huge tree and I grew pigeons in there. Every time a pigeon died I carved its name into the tree s trunk.

Well, all these things have vanished lateron with the completion of the housing blocks and the stadium over there. I also like walking alon the Danube on this side, but most of my time I spend in this courtyard.

I have never been anywhere else."

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