Thursday, May 8, 2014


Dimitar Anakiev
Censorship in Serbian"Haiku Newspapers", today
(Serbian haiku without a future or long life to capital, imperialism and Stalinism)

In 1993, in the midst of war in the Balkans, during million's daily inflation, I founded " Haiku Newspapers ("Haiku novine") in Niš, town in the south of Serbia . I edited the newspaper for two years and then, when paper was placed on the legs, I handed editorial bat to Dragan J. Ristic. Dragan has persevered through times of crisis and improved Haiku Newspaper bringing it up to the 20-years of existence. Last year, for the twentieth anniversary, he asked me to write appropriate text for the occasion. Indeed, I wrote an article "The history (and future) of Serbian haiku" and I sent it to the editor. And then, soon I received the anniversary-issue of HN noticing that my text is published without three (3) of my haiku (from the total of 5 haiku used as an illustration in the text - the other two haiku were Japanese). Here are my haiku that were censored:

The gusts of rain
confirm: power of people
is unbreakable .

"Can a nation be free
if oppresses other nations?" *
I ask a wildflower .

( * quote by V.I. Lenin )

Trotsky proposed
left front instead of right front .
What's "popular front" ?

The key question of course is not my revolt but what is suggested by such censorship? Therefore, let's look at the meaning of poems and draw conclusions! The first haiku speaks on the "power of people." Is the editor afraid of highlighting power of people? If so, does this mean that he better believes in the power of capital and the bosses who rule the people...? Another haiku, the quote of Lenin, deals with imperialism. Does the editor supports policy of oppression of one people over another...? And finally, the third haiku gives itself an assumption about how to judge one of the key political formations of the Stalin's era, "Popular Front " (i.e., "class collaboration") ? Is the editor of Haiku Newspapers a Stalinist? Reliable answers to the questions we have not but obviously we see that HN editor believes that the capitalists should not be angry, that imperialism is not good to attack and that Stalinism is not wise to question! In other words, this modest analysis lead us to the conclusion that the editor is a conservative, reactionary man, or at least a conformist . However, as it is today fashionable in the US, our editor supports the free form in haiku, as a form of freedom in poetry! I leave the conclusions to the reader. I believe the conclusions will say a lot about the spirit that exists in our part of the world and also about the times in which we live. Long life to capital, imperialism and Stalinism!

(English translation by author. Serbian text is published in the same blog, in post of February 12, 2014)

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