“Comrade Tito, to You We (Still) Pledge Our Allegiance”

“Jugoslaviju su činile šest Republika, pet nacionalnosti, četiri jezika, tri religije, dvije autonomne pokrajine i jedna stranka.”

On 25 May 2015, Balkan Diskurs joined the Dan Mladosti (Youth Day) celebrations at Cafe Tito in Sarajevo. Clara Casagrande and Marion Pineau explore attendees’ impressions of the event.

For 43 years, the last being 1987, the annual event of Dan Mladosti commemorated Josip Broz Tito’s birthday. It would draw youngsters from each Yugoslav republic for a three week relay in which a stafeta, or ceremonial baton stuffed with birthday wishes for Tito, was carried across all of the Yugoslav republics on the way to its final destination in Belgrade. The event culminated in the Yugoslav People’s Army Stadium, where the final runner would present the baton to Tito. Yugoslavs actively participated in the ritual each year for 43 years, writing birthday messages, carrying the baton, or cheering the runners along their route to Belgrade.

Today, 25 May still presents an opportunity for youth to celebrate around the region. In 2015 people gathered at Caffe Tito to listen to the Still Crazy concert and watch fireworks in honor of Comrade Tito, the much-loved leader of the former Yugoslavia.

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“I’ve had this hat since I was a child, and I make sure to take special care of it.”
“I’ve had this hat since I was a child, and I make sure to take special care of it.”
“I come here every year to celebrate.”
“I come here every year to celebrate.”

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“Zivio Tito”
“Zivio Tito”

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“I want to be a poor happy hippy in Brazil.”
“I want to be a poor happy hippy in Brazil.”

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“My hat is original because I was one of the last pioneers.”
“My hat is original because I was one of the last pioneers.”
“I wear this flag because I’m waiting for the time when Yugoslavia will again be reunited.”
“I wear this flag because I’m waiting for the time when Yugoslavia will again be reunited.”
“Yugoslavia consisted of six republics, five nationalities, four languages, three religions, two autonomous regions and one party.”
“Yugoslavia consisted of six republics, five nationalities, four languages, three religions, two autonomous regions and one party.”
“Her hat is not from Yugoslavia, it’s from China. But communism is communism.”
“Her hat is not from Yugoslavia, it’s from China. But communism is communism.”

Clara Casagrande is a former intern at the Post-Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo. She holds a BA in International Relations and is currently pursuing an MA in Gender and Ethnicity Studies at University of Utrecht. She’s dedicating her free time to freelance photography.

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Winner of the Intercultural Achievement Recognition Award by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs

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