Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Photo: This is me at lunch at the Writers’ Club in Belgrade, caressing my book. The photo published by Antipod, Vidovdan and other portals is a pure fabrication. I was alone with myself, as always.
War on the Belgrade election scene resembles a bit of that in Syria. Everyone is warring against everyone with all available means. The citizens of Belgrade will choose their new mayor on March 4th. The atmosphere is heated to boiling point. In this uneven, unfair and intolerant struggle, one photo of these days circles Belgrade’s portals as a crown proof of something, but I can’t grasp of what.
The book Hotel Yugoslavia, of which I was the author, was printed in Belgrade’s printing house Službeni glasnik, on December 21, 2017. Since the date was set about ten days earlier, I decided that I would celebrate the publication of the book – which was a huge event for me – in Belgrade. I wasn’t going for something big. There would be no glamorous promotions (that will come later), but still something that I will remember. So, I decided for a lunch at the Writers’ Club where I would invite five people, five of my friends who give me the greatest support in my work: Jadranka Drinić, Mišo Lukić, Srđan Šaper, Ivan Stanković and Žarko Sakan. To be honest, I was not sure if everyone would respond. The New Year’s Eve fuss was in full swing, it was Friday, and I’ve already gotten used to these relationships in our industry when not everyone will sit at the same table with each other, so I was worried a bit, but everything was solved already on the first day when I sent them the lunch invitations. Everyone gladly confirmed their arrival. And they all came. The atmosphere was great. There was not a single word about work. In a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere we spent three hours in the beautiful ambience of the Writers’ Club, at the table next to the big New Year’s/Christmas tree.
The night before, at the annual UEPS Awards Ceremony at Atelje 212, I arranged with a photographer who was working for UEPS that evening to come to the Writers’ Club tomorrow, at 13.30h, to shoot a few photos. I was not aware of how big of a mistake I made at that point. She came at the agreed time, she shot her photos, and sent them by email later. They were great. The group one, where we are all visible at the table, I posted the next day on the portal with the Diary of a Methuselah, and on my private FB profile. Just a couple of days later, this photo started appearing on Belgrade’s portals within the texts through which political opponents waged war against Dragan Đilas, the former mayor of Belgrade who re-entered the race for the head of the Serbian capital. According to the liars behind portals such as Antidot, Vidovdan and others, this photo speaks of dark, connected interests of us sitting at the same table, as if we were a joint criminal enterprise. They link us to Đilas because, before entering politics, he played one of the most important roles on the regional advertising scene. What links my guests with Đilas is the fact that they all started their career in advertising with Dragan Sakan, and that Jadranka Drinić ran the agency Direct Media while the owner of the agency was Đilas. Farfetched would be an understatement. This photo was taken on a lunch that had only one cause – our mutual friendship and respect, and the expression of Jadranka’s, Mišo’s, Srđan’s, Ivan’s and Žarko’s support for my work. My personal celebration is being turned into a political event, which is yet another proof of how easy it is to manipulate truth on social networks.
These portals have made several offenses for which they might be summoned to court. First, they published the photo without our consent. Photo is our property, we bought it from the author, and if you want to use it you have to pay or at least ask for it. Secondly, the photograph was used in a completely different context, in a dirty political showdown which should have never happened. Third, even ‘interventions’ were made on the photographs, so a red ‘marker’ was used to circle the head of one of my guests. I guess it was to particularly point out that person. This afternoon, I’m having a meeting with my legal adviser, where we will seriously consider filing a lawsuit against all the portals that abused this photo and published it without our consent.
Of course, as soon as this witch hunt started, we removed the “controversial” photo from the portal and my FB profile, which portal Vidovdan immediately noticed and noted in one of their articles, the pretext being that we got scared and removed it ?
Belgrade, woe to thee if you are to be run by those who are endorsed by Antipod, Vidovdan and other petty media, as legendary Duško Radović would say.