Learn about Serbia before the 22nd ESCRS Winter Meeting

The 22nd ESCRS Winter Meeting convenes in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia

Maryalicia Post

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Serbs

The 22nd ESCRS Winter Meeting convenes in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, a country with one of the most tangled histories in Europe.

If, like myself, you find the intricacies escaping you- and you’re heading for Belgrade- a worthy travel companion is the paperback by British journalist Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.

Judah, a reporter for the Economist, is one of the most knowledgeable commentators on the area, having lived and worked in Serbia for years. His book outlines the history of the region and explains its effects on today’s Serbs. There’s an updated section on post-war Serbia.


For fictional insights into the White City, try  The Houses of Belgrade, by the Serbian literary icon, Borislav Pekic. Born in 1930 in Podgorica, Yugoslavia, Pekic began his writing career in prison after his 1948 arrest for terrorism and espionage.  In the early 1970s he emigrated to London, where he wrote The Houses of Belgrade in 1994. Interwoven into the story of an old recluse’s infatuation with the houses he owns (he gives them female names) are memories of the last time he ventured outdoors.. 27 March 1941, the day of the coup d’etat that followed alignment with Hitler.

The Diary of a Political idiot is a memoir of a Serbian civilian caught up in the NATO bombardments in the late 1990; it’s an extraordinary account of daily life under fire by Jasmine Tesanovic, a feminist writer and activist, She is a contributor to the Huffington Post where some of her blogs return to the theme of this book.

A 3-hour Belgrade walking tour dedicated to the Communist era leaves every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3 pm from Belgrade’s Republic Square. Participation, including entrance to the Museum of Yugoslavian History, is €10 . No need to book..look for guide wearing or carrying ‘something yellow’ behind the monument. According to the website ( you’ll hear interesting stories of former Yugoslavia, World War II, Tito’s life, conflicts of the nineties, NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in 1999 and democratic changes at the beginning of the third millennium.