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<nettime> Geertogram 041699: refugee location project, commentaries
nettime's_digestive_system on Fri, 16 Apr 1999 20:34:13 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Geertogram 041699: refugee location project, commentaries


Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:38:00 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Refugee Location Project

>| Orig. From: Michael Davon <Davon {AT} web-depot.com>
>
>ALBANIAN REFUGEES & RELATIVES LOCATION PROJECT
>
>The online database now contains records for over 6,000 Kosovo
>refugees.  It is fully searchable.
>
>You can visit the web site for searches and to add information
>at:  http://WWW.Web-Depot.Com/kosovo
>
>Please SET UP LINKS ON YOUR WEBSITE so that people know to come
>here FOR SEARCHES AND TO ADD DATA for both refugees and their
>relatives in other locations to facilitate the reunification of
>families.
>
>If you have existing data on refugees, please contact me so that
>we can incorporate the data you or your organization has been
>collecting into this database.  We can work with your systems
>people to facilitate the data transfer.
>
>Through establishing a central repository of data we will be able
>to reunite people very efficiently.
>
>Sincerely, Michael Davon, President, The Web-Depot, Inc.
>
>Michael Davon                       617-491-0080 Office
>                                    888-WB-DEPOT Office
>Davon {AT} Web-Depot.Com                 617-491-0066 Fax
>http://WWW.Web-Depot.COM            617-491-0033 Home

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Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:41:08 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Mark Kohn commentary

From: Marek Kohn

After thirty years, the Net has faced and met the challenge for which it
was originally designed. In the late 1960s, computer engineers devised the
idea of a computer network which, by virtue of having no centre, could
survive a massive military attack. Parts of it would be destroyed, but the
rest of the system could reorganise to continue its work. Back then, it
was envisaged that the network would be a US military system, and the
assault would be a nuclear one mounted by the Soviet Union in a war with
NATO. Now the principle has been tested in a war in which the aggressor
appears to have made the destruction of information one of its key
objectives. 

A year ago, in this column's predecessor, I referred to Kosova (as the
Albanians spell it) as a state in waiting. Its Web sites could complement
the network of autonomous structures which the Kosovar Albanians had
developed over the previous decade, in a strategy of nonviolent withdrawal
from Yugoslav institutions. I also described Kosovo as the first
Internet-ready conflict. Now, in a war for which NATO supplies the air
power and the Kosovar Albanians the casualties, the Kosovar Web network
has been the first to suffer the effects of a devastating military
offensive. It has turned out to be Internet-ready after all.

The effects of the assault can be read in error messages. "The attempt to
load http://www.kohaditore.com failed," which is unsurprising, since Koha
Ditore is the leading Kosovar Albanian newspaper. Last year, it provided
graphic pictures and accounts of Serbian brutality for Kosovar Web pages.
When NATO started bombing, the paper was suppressed and its premises were
destroyed, Another local media source, the Kosova Information Center,
suffered a similar fate. Pristina's Radio 21, which had been broadcasting
audio reports on the Net in Albanian and English, also ceased operating at
this point. The crackdown is marked by pages that remain on line but
immobile, last updated on March 23. On the Kosova Crisis Center home page,
the links to these sites remain in place, serving as testimonials.

Before the NATO strikes, Kosovar manifestations on the Internet were in a
different league from their Yugoslav opposition. Serbian apologist sites
wallowed in their devious historical rhetoric, while the Kosovar pages
showed the kind of pictures that have only been splashed in the
established media since the war became intercontinental. Since the strikes
began, however, the voices of Serbian grievance have become more diverse.
This is a new development; up to this point, Serbian media presences have
varied only in whether they are more creepy than sinister, or more
sinister than creepy. Now Serbs who sound like normal human beings are
voicing their anger and hurt over being attacked by NATO. Since more of
them have had Internet access than Kosovar Albanians, they have been
better able to colour the tone of e-mail discussions, and to send messages
which are then reproduced in other media.

As many commentators have noted, though, Serbian claims of grievance are
undermined by the indifference shown by Serbs of all shades of opinion
towards the plight of the Kosovar Albanians. In this respect, the myth of
Internet fraternity can be seen as a casualty of the conflict. Facile
prophets of peace through communications technology like to claim that the
free exchange of information leads to political freedom. But satellite
dishes and modems do not seem to have led anti-Milosevic Serbs to take up
the Kosovar cause, even though it was only a mouseclick away. Milosevic
didn't need Internet censorship software to block Kosovar Web sites. The
Serbs already had it installed in their mental operating systems.

For the rest of the world, however, the Kosovar Web remains wounded but
functional. This is a significant symbolic victory in the face of the
Serbian forces' apparent efforts to destroy Kosovar Albanian institutional
records, and the dreadful hints that the intelligentsia itself is also a
target. In the nineteenth century, the emerging nations of Europe kept
themselves alive under imperial rule in their poems, novels and music.
Kosova is the first to add Web sites to the cultural and documentary
baggage that sustains a people in exile. In another twenty years, perhaps,
a struggling nation will be able to store its identity documents and
property records on computers overseas, safe from burning. But unlike a
computer network, a people cannot be sustained by dispersing it around the
world.

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Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:43:46 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: Koha Ditore?

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 04:19:38 +0200
From: top-mag {AT} zg.tel.hr
Subject: Koha Ditore?

Everywhere I see "HELP B92"!
What about Koha Ditore and Kosova Albanians?
From=20the news on the HELP B92 web site it is quite hard to see what is
so special, independent and democratic about B92! Ideology of
"professional journalism" is just that - ideology. One thing is for
sure: "Dont trust anyone..." and now we can add "...especially not them
(B92)", because in all the noise about closing down of the world wide
famous, democratic and independent radio station B92, all other much
more problematic issues get lost - like the fact that in Kosova
Albanians, even, or especially kids, women, old men, everyday loose
their lives, homes, all possesings, documents... even future.
Mr Veran Matic has choosen very unfortunate title for his article -
"Bombing the Baby with the Bathwater" - not only it puts his dear B92 in
the position of cute and innocent, but actually powerless infant, it
also perhaps involuntarely and unconsciously states that B92 is actually
bathing in the dirty waters of Milosevic regime! Matic is really master
of selfpromotion and this situation suits him well - international media
recognition, support, fundraising... in your [helpB92] own words:
"leading peace activist. He has won many international awards for media
and democracy, the latest being last year's MTV Europe Free Your Mind
award. Early this year he was named one of this year's hundred Global
Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum..." ...
On CNN Vuk Draskovic said that his party is in opposition to Milosevic,
"but not in opposition to his country". Almost the same sentence can be
found in Matic=92s article.=20
We should remember Slavoj Zizek who apropos sentence of "throwing baby
with the dirty water" said that baby is really uninteresting, that it
should be "thrown away", and we should really concentrate on examining
"the dirty water"...=20
Dejan Krsic

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Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 15:57:57 +0200 (CEST)
From: Geert Lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl>
Subject: We are all Albanians

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 13:29:56 +0200
From: Vladimir Arsenijevic <vlajsa1 {AT} EUnet.yu>
Subject: We are all Albanians

Dear Dejan,

I received your message the other day (written in English, and this is why
I`m replying to you in the same language). I couldn`t help wondering how
all of the sudden it came to be that it is actually B-92 who seems to be
the guilty side. I`ll remind you that they were crushed to pieces by the
regime, and even if the station continues with their program after this
big blow it would, most probably, never be the same again. Accusing THEM
of getting more media coverage for being banned than KOHA DITORE is, to
say the least, wierd. It may be that B92 was not the perfect radio-station
(tell me one that is) but for almost ten years it was presenting a vastly
different and definitely more colorful pallette of opinions than you could
find in state controlled media, and it did help keep the spirit of
rebellion against the government alive.

On account of lack of pity for the fate of Kosova Albanians, I know (from
my own experience - and I KNOW that I have no bad feelings whatsoever
directed towards anybody, least of all Albanians) that it is very hard to
care about somebody elses problems if you are personally experiencing
major problems of your own in the same moment. There is no favourism in
this society. Everybody is too busy surviving here to be able to feel any
remorse.. Remorse is a privilege of well-nourished, clean and civilised.
And we are all Albanians here. All of us: Serbs, Montenegrins, Hungarians,
Slovaks... Poor, underfed, degraded, oppressed. And I mean ALL of us, even
those who support Milosevic with all their heart through all these years
of terrible hell.

Hope to hear from you soon.

All best,

Vlada

-----Original Message-----
From: top-mag {AT} zg.tel.hr <top-mag {AT} zg.tel.hr>
To: helpb92 {AT} xs4all.nl <helpb92 {AT} xs4all.nl>
Date: Friday, 16 April, 1999 04:14
Subject: Koha Ditore?


>Everywhere I see "HELP B92"!
>What about Koha Ditore and Kosova Albanians?
>>From the news on the HELP B92 web site it is quite hard to see what is
>so special, independent and democratic about B92! Ideology of
>"professional journalism" is just that - ideology. One thing is for
>sure: "Dont trust anyone..." and now we can add "...especially not them
>(B92)", because in all the noise about closing down of the world wide
>famous, democratic and independent radio station B92, all other much
>more problematic issues get lost - like the fact that in Kosova
>Albanians, even, or especially kids, women, old men, everyday loose
>their lives, homes, all possesings, documents... even future.
>Mr Veran Matic has choosen very unfortunate title for his article -
>"Bombing the Baby with the Bathwater" - not only it puts his dear B92 in
>the position of cute and innocent, but actually powerless infant, it
>also perhaps involuntarely and unconsciously states that B92 is actually
>bathing in the dirty waters of Milosevic regime! Matic is really master
>of selfpromotion and this situation suits him well - international media
>recognition, support, fundraising... in your [helpB92] own words:
>"leading peace activist. He has won many international awards for media
>and democracy, the latest being last year's MTV Europe Free Your Mind
>award. Early this year he was named one of this year's hundred Global
>Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum..." ...
>On CNN Vuk Draskovic said that his party is in opposition to Milosevic,
>"but not in opposition to his country". Almost the same sentence can be
>found in Matic=92s article.
>We should remember Slavoj Zizek who apropos sentence of "throwing baby
>with the dirty water" said that baby is really uninteresting, that it
>should be "thrown away", and we should really concentrate on examining
>"the dirty water"...
>Dejan Krsic

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