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'Mile vs Transition' - a Perfect Informant in the Slushy Swamp of Serbian Politics?

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When it launched a TV series 'Mile vs Transition' in 2003, Radio B92 intended its hero, Mile from Cubura, to be taken ironically. Fighting a relentless rearguard campaign against transition (from the introduction of Euros and seat-belts to good manners and work ethic), and embracing the stereotypical backwardness of the Serbian character, Mile was projected as what Serbian citizens should not be. Instead, Mile became a popular hero whose anti-modern, anti-European tendencies were widely embraced, seemingly without any irony. I argue that as a composite photo-robot of the Serbian Everyman (thus a perfect informant), and a moral chameleon, Mile emerged as an ambiguous hero not just because of the content of what he does and says, but because of the ironic play he affords. It is precisely this ambiguity, this indeterminate irony that makes him such an icon of Serbia's current predicaments - not just a symptom, but also an apt figure, a hieroglyph for post-Milosevic, post-Djindjic Serbia's inchoately felt conundrums.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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