The Belgrade Wall

by Limbic on November 5, 2009

The Belgrade Peace Wall separates an ethnically divided Belgrade in 2068. West Belgrades Serbs occupy the newer parts of the city, whilst its Albanian population is crowded into the old town slums.

The Belgrade Peace Wall separates an ethnically divided Belgrade in 2058. West Belgrade's Serbs occupy the newer parts of the city, whilst its Albanian population is crowded into the old town slums.

“Its 2058. Kosovo is Serbia. This is the divided city of Beograd/Belgrad (in Albanian). In the 50 years since the failed attempt by Kosovo Albanians to seceded from Serbia, the country’s Albanian population has swelled by over a million and the Serbian population has shrunk by a similar amount. Ongoing sectarian violence between Albanians and Serbs has left Serbia a destitute war zone, with an uneasy peace enforced by UN peacekeepers….”

Actually this is a replica of the Berlin was has been built in Republic Square in Belgrade. as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its great installation. But it did get me thinking about divided cities – like Mitrovica and Belfast and Mostar – and how Belgrade may very well have ended up such a city if current demographic trends played out in a unified Serbia.

As much as I decry the bombing of Serbia and the injustice of how Kosovo was stolen, I think it is an undeniably good thing that 1.5 million resentful Kosovo Ethnic Albanians are not forced citizens of an ethnically divided Serbia in which their  numbers are booming whilst Serb numbers are falling, a situation which in time will lead to the dreaded Northern Ireland phenomenon where you have two equally sized antagonistic communities forced to live together.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Danilo November 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm

This will happen anyway.

Because Serbia won’t recognize Kosovo, they’ll end up losing everything to Nis in 60 years due to demographic changes in southern Serbia.

If Serbs were logical about this, they’d not only recognize Kosovo, but give the Presovo valley to Kosovo, maybe trading for north of the Ibar. Then that would be the end of that. Borders set, everyone’s on their side of the fence.

Now, because it’s ambiguous, the Albanian population are free, as Serbian citizens, to grow, spread, buy up all the land in the south. This same Kosovo drama will repeat itself in 50 years.

It’s amazing how Serb nationalists fail to see the obvious: With Kosovo, Serbia will either soon not be Serbia due to demographic shifts (ie, Albanians having way more kids that Serbs), or it will not be a democracy. Perhaps the latter is meaningless to them.

Reply

limbic November 6, 2009 at 1:27 pm

@Danilo – Great points.

Reply

Zoran November 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Not quite my friends. Our ethnic Albanian citizens value EU land more than Serbian. In fact, most would leave this sacred land they claim for access to the EU. If they ever moved into central Serbia they will soon get Visa free travel and live their dream – not in Serbia but in the EU my friends. Somehow I don’t think they’ll be returning either. So think again, it’s the wealthier EU states that need to watch out for an Albanian population boom.

Reply

Andrew November 7, 2009 at 1:04 am

Forgive me for having a few drinks too many this evening but isnt this all a bit racist? Why can’t you have a multi-cultural country? You sound like an imperialist Englishman commenting about Irish breeding like rabbits.

Reply

jd November 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

@Andrew

1. Serbia is already a multi-cultural country (and a very successful one), so lets drop that straw man. I was presenting a sci-fi scenario in which after 50 years of Serbian population decline and Albanian population growth (in the territory that includes Serbia and Kosovo) Serbia had become like Northern Ireland, with two large antagonistic communities (Serb and Albanian).
2. This scenario is not based on fantasy but geopolitical reality. Regional demographics are well documented. Serbia’s fertility rate is well below sustainable levels (1.6) ( see http://demographymatters.blogspot.com/2006/11/shrinking-serbia.html ) whilst Albanian’s across the Balkans are growing steadily with a rate of 2.3 ( http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/minorities-and-integration/some-thoughts-on-greater-albania-part-1/ ). If it is racist to allude to these facts then, the term ‘racist’ has been cheapened to the point of absurdity and meaninglessness.
3. I am an Irishman commenting on the hypothetical outcome of Kosovo remaining in Serbia where one ethnic population is booming and the other shrinking.

Reply

Andrew November 8, 2009 at 2:28 am

@ jd

Mince and you know it. And Serbia (well belgrade) may be multicultural to an extent (ex yugo) but that is it. I’m just stating my initial reaction to what you posted.

You should have a good think about the links you are providing. I bet the Nazis provided similar justification. Stay free, stay open and Kosovo is Serbia.

Reply

Danilo November 8, 2009 at 7:15 am

Personally, I have no problem with Albanians becoming a majority and eventual rulers of Serbia.

I do suspect, however, that the ones thumping loudest on their chest about how “Kosovo is Serbia”, do/would.

Reply

jd November 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

@Andrew,

Serbia has 1, 135, 393 members of national minorities and that is excluding Kosovo. It is more multicultural than Britain.

As for the links I provided, they are merely samples showing the inescapable fact that current demographic trends show a declining Serbian population and a growing Albanian population. Since merely pointing out the fact that an ethnic group is growing has in the space of 48 hours made me an imperial Englishman, a racist and now a Nazi, one has to wonder what you call those people who belong to neo-Nazi groups that lynch black people?

Stay free – check
Stay open – check
Kosovo is Serbia – Not unless you kill or ethnically cleanse 90% of the people who live there. That is an idea a real Nazis might entertain.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }