According to the Grimm dictionary, buccaneers are "those who seize foreign property by force on the sea in order to enrich themselves, without having authority for this seizure from any state". Pirates, corsairs and, to a certain extent, privateers are other synonymous phrases, all of which mark a counter-world, a world of freedom, audacity, adventurousness. They have been sailing through children's rooms with all their dreams for centuries, filling libraries and cinema halls. The sea becomes a space free of society into which the buccaneer Jenny fantasises just as much as later all those who see themselves subjected to "extreme standardisation" by the "consumer society", as P.P. Pasolini does in his buccaneer writings. Piraterie-horen seeks out all those critical, romantic, heterotopic ship planks and island beaches of self-empowerment in today's world and gathers them into one great seduction: "I wish I was back where`s forward [...] Where we are is always Libertatia" (Ja, Panik).
The issue of Beton International No. 2 has been published in book form in Serbia. With this issue, we have managed to gather authors from different parts of Europe and ask them to formulate their views on the last seventy years as well as on the present of our continent. While we are committed to our continent growing together and to the borders of nation states becoming more permeable, on these issues it seemed appropriate to acknowledge reality and to start from differences between East and West. The consequences of the Second World War have divided the continent for too long for us to deny the different traditions today.
BETON International: 1914 – Hundert Jahre danach [BETON International: 1914 - One hundred years later]
The history of this first issue of BETON INTERNATIONAL is simple: against all the unfavourable real-political, ideological and economic circumstances in which the countries of South-Eastern Europe find themselves, there are countless initiatives and projects among writers, philosophers, sociologists, feminists, social activists and many other citizens that are geared towards encounters and subvert the narrow national frameworks by constantly crossing borders - in the hope of better and fairer societies. Of course, this permeability does not only refer to the borders of these countries among themselves, but also to the borders between them and other European countries. BETON INTERNATIONAL is the product of such an initiative.
The anthology with contributions by Albanian, Bosnian, German, Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian authors offers well-founded historical-political, international-legal and sociological analyses of the shards left behind by Yugoslavia and points out perspectives for the Yugoslav heirs.
A literary travel guide, a map of autobiographical memories and contemporary thoughts in prose, essays, poetry, composed of the voices of Marica Bodrožić, Dragan Velikić, Josef Haslinger, Tony White, Erica Fischer, György Dalos, Mirko Kovač, Ivana Sajko, Nelida Milani, Milan Rakovac, Renato Baretić, Abd Allataef Blfllah, Aljosa Pužar, Daša Drndić, Irena Lukšić, Vlatko Ivandić, Boris Domagoj Biletić, Božica Jelušić, Magdalena Platzova, Drago Orlić, Claudio Ugussi and Alida Bremer.
"The authors of this issue are as committed to a close look at the Mediterranean as a hybrid and contradictory space as they are to the project of a cultural community of Mediterranean countries that is not built on power politics but on solidarity. In their texts, a new reading of Mare nostrum emerges - one that can be left without question marks." (Christine Lötscher in the editorial)
At the invitation of Walter Famler, Alida Bremer, Chrstine Lötscher and Aladdin Sarhan have published a dossier on the subject of the Mediterranean for "Wasps' Nest" and in parallel co-conceived the programme "Mare nostrum?" for the Festival der Alten Schmiede, Vienna "Literatur im Herbst" (9-11 November 2012).
FABULA RASA ODER: ZAGREB LIEGT AM MEER / Croatian literature of the last 25 years. Compiled by Alida Bremer / With photos by Feđa Klarić, Andriana Škunca & Danko Vučinović / With drawings by Igor Hofbauer & light objects by Goran Petercol. Editor: Johann P. Tammen
»You cannot change your century, but you can stand against it and prepare fortunate impacts.«
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The desire for a better world has accompanied humanity since time immemorial. In this unique volume, Alida Bremer and Michael Krüger bring together contributions by authors and artists who, under the motto "glückliche Wirkungen" (engl.: "fortunate impacts") borrowed from Goethe, not only devote themselves to past more beautiful times, but also sketch out visions of a happier future or even trace what a good world might be in the now. Authors such as Mircea Cartarescu, Stefan Herrtmans, Serhij Zhadan, Cécile Wajsbrot or Colm Tóibín approach the topic imaginatively, ironically, dreamily or realistically and capture what moves us between freedom and security, solidarity and helpfulness, challenge and dare. A literary journey that shows how we can face the big questions of the present. This lovingly designed anthology brings together contributions from the 57 member states of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and features a foreword by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
With this issue of Beton International, we have managed to gather authors from different parts of Europe and ask them to express their views on the last seventy years as well as on the present of our continent. While we are committed to our continent growing together and to the borders of nation states becoming more permeable, on these issues it seemed appropriate to acknowledge reality and to start from differences between East and West. The consequences of the Second World War have divided the continent for too long for us to deny the different traditions today.
On 1 July 2013, Croatia will join the European Union. On the occasion of this event, the "Neue Rundschau" asks intellectuals and writers from Croatia what this can mean for their own country, but also for the EU. The "Balkan experience", the special history in the former Yugoslavia, the view from the periphery, all these are moments from which Europe can also benefit. With texts by Srećko Horvat, Nadežda Čačinović, Zvonko Maković, Jurica Pavičić, Edo Popović and Alida Bremer.
Theatre and television dramaturge Davor Korić writes 22 letters from Sarajevo to his wife Dragana and their children, who have fled to Germany, between July 1992 and May 1993. Korić gives a detailed account of everyday life and death during the siege of his home town. He reflects on the end of Yugoslavia, describes the political catastrophe of the multicultural city and the consequences for mixed-national families like his own. His letters have a literary character in addition to being private and documentary, as he manages to give universal meaning to his personal feelings in an unexpected, absurd and brutal life situation.
Laura Marchig is one of the most important Italian-writing authors in Croatia. She belongs to a generation that grew up under socialism, with rock 'n' roll as bread for the soul, and at the same time with the language of Dante. This generation, tired and spent after the war, a war for democracy, is skilled at living within another, Slavic culture, and it has learned to love this culture, which it knows at least as well as its own.
"Jugosphere"? What about a common regional consciousness across the borders of the successor states in the intellectual and artistic sphere? Two decades after the disintegration of the SFR Yugoslavia, the authors of the current focus examine what Yugoslavia was and what of Yugoslavia lives on today.
For numerous authors from Germany, Croatia, the land of a thousand islands, is a place of inspiration. Ingo Schulze, Juli Zeh, Veit Heinichen, Erica Fischer, Wladimir Kaminer, Richard Wagner and many others have approached "their" Croatia humorously, thoughtfully, critically and hymnally.And they are accompanied by Croatian authors living in Germany, such as Marica Bodrožić and Nicol Ljubić. Editors: Alida Bremer, Silvija Hinzmann and Dagmar Schruf.