Wednesday - down to business

ever-so-slight difference between pictures :-)

We're in it, full-speed ahead.

Yesterday (Tuesday), we visited the B92 Radio & TV station, the best radio station of the '90s and 2000s (and now still the 'best', but holding the 2nd spot among the other 400-plus broadcasters in Serbia).

We met with Sasha, the CEO and one of the early founders of B92 (founded as 92 FM radio in 1989). We had a tour of both the radio and the TV studios and then met on the roof for a Q&A (the roof being the only space large enough to hold all 23 students plus Mladen, Yiannis and me). Sasha ended our discussion with a detailed history of the role of B92 as a voice of challenge to Milosevic (first and foremost, throughout the 1990s until 2000) and even as a challenge to "our former friends" (as he called the political opposition to Milosevic). In short, B92 Radio & TV are what you would expect from the media - a "4th Estate" as we'd say in the US; an institution that doesn't allow politicians (even those they support) to have the only say in public debate, unchecked (i.e., B92 is not Fox News).

That afternoon, I gave my "Clash of Civilizations to Dialogue of Civilizations" presentation at the Belgrade Open School. Mladen was a student there and secured for us the use of one of their classrooms - on the 16th floor of "Belgrade Lady" building, with an incredible view of all of downtown Belgrade.

This morning, we returned to our classroom for Mladen's presentation (with a lot of kibbitzing from Yiannis and me; poor Mladen!). He gave us a very thorough history of the Balkans from Medieval times through the end of the 19th Century (ending around 1878, when Serbia gained some form of international recognition as an 'independent' entity, though still controlled by the Ottomans). And this afternoon, he led the group to the military museum at Kalamegdan fortress.

We'll pick up tomorrow morning with the demise of the Ottoman Empire here in the Balkans and the rise of Yugoslavia, though we know how that story ends ...


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