Absurd new laws in Serbia! D:

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

This is going to be a little off topic since most of our visitors are not from Serbia nor surrounding countries like myself but I will write this anyway.

The ministry of culture in Serbia brought up an law for music last month. Apparently now you must have an "Association of musicians of the Serbian estrade" (roughly translated) license in order to perform. I'm not sure if the word estrade is used in English but here it basically means the same thing as music scene (usually associated with mainstream music and performers). Unless you don't have this license you are not allowed to perform outside the state and soon they will bring the new law that will also prevent you from playing at local areas. In order to obtain this license you must:

1. Pay an yearly fee of 11200 Dinars (which is about 119 euros).

2. You must pass the musician exam.

3. After you pass the test you must go and perform in front of an jury and then they will decide if you are an musician or not.

4. Starting from February all musicians visas and ATA cards are not valid.

Obviously the jury and definition of music will be defined by pop artists from Serbia. And by pop i mean folk and turbofolk which is the most popular music in Serbia and also very popular in neighboring countries.

People who are into underground forms of music such as metal, punk, noise etc. will not get this license because (and I quote the ministry official response): "alternative music is considered to be an lower form of art (and that's how it's called in most western countries)". Further on the ministry states "Law about culture will clearly define this area and eliminate problems that showed in practice." But they later state that they will form a jury for rock music but that does not solve the problem for more extreme genres.

This an clear attempt to eradicate all kinds of alternative music from the big guys. Obviously non profit bands and people who do DIY albums, hold small gigs etc. will not be able and will not pay this fee nor intend to get this license. Music is supposed to be a form of expression and it's not supposed to be taxed nor it should need a license.

I had hopes that this shithole region in general not just Serbia has passed beyond dictatorship and media control but I guess I was wrong. This is an obvious sign that their government is trying to filter music to their own liking.

The people in Serbia and the underground scene are of course furious about this and started protests, gigs, petitions etc. You can show them support by joining their myspace (www.myspace.com/unus_sr) group if you care.

Personally I think the main problem concerning more underground musicians is that they will not be allowed to cross the borders which is retarded. I'm completely disappointed with this whole thing, I had high hopes. >_>

25 comments:

Drrn. March 30, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

That's seriously fucked up. Free of expression forever!

Nanoko March 30, 2009 at 2:35 PM  

Excuse my language, but what the fuck? That's terrible.

Zmaj March 30, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

"Une question, l'absurde. Une réponse, la révolte."

:D

puldzian March 30, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

well, they've already tried similar practices during communist period. see how it ended.

jcshumate March 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM  

Such measures will, of course, only provoke and mobilize a stronger scene pushed further underground, making the subversive all the more righteous in the process.

I shall be anxious to see how Serbian "alternative" music blossoms in the coming years as a result. It's just too bad I won't see any of it live.

Marbas March 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

This is absolutely ridiculous. This law has no purpose besides enforcing cultural hegemony. What are the conceivable benefits of stifling free expression that aren't far outweighed by the cost?

NONE.

Roger Camden March 30, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

all I would say
echoes what has already been said in this thread

doesn't seem right

DaveX March 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

Just play, but be sure to say that you're not making art or music-- just noise. See what happens!

kecelakaanjalanraya March 30, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

That is incredibly silly (and stupid). Reads more like the sort of situation I'd come up with in a story of mine, not real life.

cjejons March 30, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

Those with control always want more. A shame.

abyssalpink March 30, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

Andrei Octav Botez March 31, 2009 at 2:40 AM  

Underground music is not for brain-washed masses. What do you expect? That they have appreciations in Vomir stuff i.e. ?! Or some extreme BM band? I am from Romania and this kind of turbofolk is like national music to us. If such a jury recognize me as a musician than seems that I am a really shit in music... Certificated one!

On the other hand, I agree with jcshumate!

Respect and thank you for this amazing unrecognized-by-jury blog!

P.S. "underground musicians is that they will not be allowed to cross the borders"-I didn't get this one. You can go like a turist...

Tor I. Pettersen March 31, 2009 at 2:45 AM  

This is a clear violation of freedom of speech/expression, a human right.
I'd think this issue alone could block Serbian membership in the EU.
So that's where I'd complain.

lackthrow March 31, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

absurd is the right word to use for this. absurd indeed! and as human beings we should all be taking offense to the notion of the shit being offered up here. what about human rights? what about personal liberties? WHEN the fuck are we that this is actually coming up as a serious bit? its far too easy, and unfortunately so, to forget that not everyone is at the same level of 'enlightenment' or 'evolution' if you will. here we clearly have a case of that, even if there is a diabolical power grabbing scheme under the surface (though just barely). this should make us mad, no matter where we're from. we're all human and this sort of shit anywhere is not only horrible for those immediately effected, but bad for us as a species. seriously, in this day and age...(again forgetting) such things are absurd. but then there are many many parts of the world where far worse goes on, sadly. still, wrong is wrong here. my best wishes for the righting of this wrong and absurd BS.

freaknhell March 31, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

even taking into consideration the history of your country, i can barely believe this. i wish you the best of luck!

Ignasi March 31, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

Has Serbian press told anything regarding this? It's unbelievable!
Provide more links please! O_O

alternative music is considered to be an lower form of art (and that's how it's called in most western countries)".

I live in a EU country and... NO COMMENT

Ignasi March 31, 2009 at 2:03 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
apewrist April 1, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

Total support for the Serbian underground. Don't let the law get to you, do your things in basements etc. This law is ludacris, it can't last long.

Murphy April 2, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

Terrible... I've got no other words to describe such a stupid act.

So now THEY will dictate what art is, what beutiful is and what acceptable is... a very "Smart" idea from them to control minds... I hope this does not expand through other countries, oherwise it will be the real beginning of world domintaion over the small-brained-mass-follower people. Just as religion does... WILL IT BE THE SAME WITH ART???

I'd really rather die before that... and be strong Serbien brothers, resist and fight!

Warm regards from Chile

nicodemus April 3, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

first off: april fools?

if not: could someone please point me in the direction of a source?

Khaos[] April 3, 2009 at 5:35 PM  

this is no april fools, trust me it sucks real bad when you go to a gig and its cancelled because they didn’t let the band in the country because of douche bag laws like this one!
The source is the myspace page written in the post: http://www.myspace.com/unus_sr (unfortunately most of it in Serbian)
Another link entirely in english about an actual incident on the border http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=45072151&blogId=476239192

Jason April 3, 2009 at 10:44 PM  

That's pretty fucked up but can they monitor things like recording and posting online, in blogs, etc?

I don't know anything about the Serbian government but I can't imagine this is really workable.

Engrudo September 1, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

Completely ridiculous, but logical if we think about who are the promoters of this absurd idea.

However, I guess Serbian underground will keep on functioning on independency, if there is not another way. But it really sucks, I can't believe these anachronistic policies still have folllowers today.

P.S: I don't know what the fuck means "turbofolk", but it sounds pretty horrible whatever it is.

Best wishes from Spain.

Engrudo September 1, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

Completely ridiculous, but logical if we think about who are the promoters of this absurd idea.

However, I guess Serbian underground will keep on functioning on independency, if there is not another way. But it really sucks, I can't believe these anachronistic policies still have folllowers today.

P.S: I don't know what the fuck means "turbofolk", but it sounds pretty horrible whatever it is.

Best wishes from Spain.

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