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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Belgrade: Kalemegdan


Ivana Jonvanovic and Tatjana Lemajic:

We are in Kalemegdan, the old Belgrade fortress, a symbol of the town. We come here very often, actually we are trying to get out of the townalthough we are right in the centre of it. This is a place of calmness and peace, but we also take a rest after the university or we prepare for exams. It is the place we like most here. We actually life quite far from here and it takes us 30-45 minutes to get here, but it is worth to do so and we are already used to do it, even when it is hard to get trough all the traffic of Belgrade.

What we both love here is being close to natural elements: grass, wind, trees...therefore it is not onlz the good view which makes this place special but the combination of both. We can leave our everyday life behind somehow, contemplate and enjoy yhe silence. This is not possible at the place where we are living. There are of course green open spaces but you can not isolate yourself because they are too open and surrounded by traffic, here, it is different, we can really come back to ourselves.

I (Tatjana) have been already to Istanbul ad the town has touched me a lot, Istanbul is warm, I mean, internally warm, very specific....

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Dragica Teofilovic

"This is Tasmajdan Park right in the centre of Belgrade and some 100 years ago it used to be a cemetery dating back to Roman times. I grew up in this quarter and I am still living here. Today I come very often to this place with my grandchild. I have been related to this park for all my lifetime. I like that this park offers enough opportunities for children, playgrounds and also enough place for them to move around, everything a child needs. The park is in a good condition and well maintained to my mind. I love the trees, they give fresh air and even in winter it is a wonderful aspect, calm and wide, an oasis in this town. For me the most important changes in the last years were that the park is much better maintained and we can find much more flowers. I like tulips and roses most….

….I have lived 4 years in Prague and later 4 years in Istanbul, because my father was an engineer and we had to move many times. You can’t find that many green open spaces in the centre Prague as you do in Belgrade, the town is different. Istanbul has much smaller open spaces, which makes the town also different from here. In Istanbul I lived with a view on the Bosporus….

Thank you very much for this interview -my family has been living in this quarter and close to Tasmajdan Park for 150 years."

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