International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Professor says Serbian authorities filling posts to stem resistance

December 8, 2021
A Belgrade university professor who resigned from several bodies following reports of the appointment of the Serbian president’s advisor to the Faculty of Dramatic Arts (FDU) Council told N1 that the authorities were taking over bodies where they see signs of resistance.
Professor and film director Janko Baljak resigned from all the bodies that he was in as a university professor following reports that Suzana Vasiljevic, advisor to President Aleksandar Vucic, had been appointed to the FDU Council. The FDU is part of the Belgrade Arts University which is separate from Belgrade University and has been known for dissenting voices over the years. Vasiljevic is an FDU alumnus and she holds a number of posts in similar bodies.
“I could have predicted this scenario, everything is gaining speed because of the protests and the rising of the democratic public and the authorities are leaving nothing to chance and that little FDU Council has become interesting to them,” Baljak told N1. He said his resignation was a personal act and that he has no intention of enticing his colleagues to do the same. “It is unacceptable for me as an FDU professor for a person who has been clearly engaged politically for 10 years to hold that post. That is not in line with my views as a professor, that Suzana Vasiljevic can decide about anything. I do not feel good about this,” he said.
He said that there were always problems in Arts University bodies because the government never showed an interest in appointing their members, leaving those bodies without the required number of members to take decisions. “We were probably not interesting because there is no money to grab,” he said, adding that the authorities will fill all the posts in places where they see signs of resistance.
According to him, Vasiljevic’s appointment is a serious provocation because her propaganda activities glorifying Vucic are “completely opposite to what I teach”. “Vasiljevic is the person who credits herself with the dirty propaganda we saw in previous regimes and I don’t see her advocating the interests of my students,” Baljak said.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/professor-says-serbian-authorities-filling-posts-to-stem-resistance/

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