“Pandemic, Not Paralysis” (Pandemija, ne paraliza)
Since the announcement of the State of Emergency in Serbia due to the COVID 19 pandemic on March 16, throughout April 2020, CZKD initiated, organized or joined more than 20 online meetings with colleagues, organizations and initiatives from the field of human rights, civil society and independent culture. The communication was crucial in times of insecurity and lack of information, impossibility of public gathering and actions in public space. In such a constant communication, CZKD was ready to organize public activity to map relevant activities, initiate or support solidarity actions and support journalists and activists under repression. On May 12th, 2020, Center for Cultural Decontamination organized an online debate titled „Pandemic, not paralysis“, in order to discuss the activism in Serbia during the state of emergency March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. CZKD had gathered around 20 activists from different range of civil and political organizations and journalists to share their experiences facing the limited space for their activities, from lack of freedom of movement to transferring their activities into the virtual space. Specific attention was given to the issue of lack of access to their constituencies.
Main discussant were Danilo Čurćić from the organization A11, organization focused on economic and social rights, which promotes and protects the rights of individuals from vulnerable, marginalized and discriminated groups, and Ivan Zlatić, an activist Common Action for ‘The Roof Over Our Heads’, coalition that brings together groups and individuals united in the struggle for the right to housing. Participants in the discussion: Ivan Zlatić, The Roof over our Heads, Danilo Ćurćič, A11, Jovana Spremo, YUCOM, Ivan Djurić, YIHR, Stefan Bojović, YIHR, Ana Hegediš Lalić, journalist, Norbert Šinković, NDNV, Tara Tepavac, CRTA, Isidora Stakić, Center for security studies, Irina Ljubić, Fondation Jelena Šantić, Jovana Kolarić, HLC, Jelena Krstić, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The curator of the program was Marijana Toma, historian and activist in the field of human rights and transitional justice.
The urgency of solidarity lead to the online program via Zoom platform “Pandemic, not Paralysis”, which opened a possibility to connect the activists, journalists, initiatives and civil society organisations in a situation of repression of activism and free journalism, also neglect of marginalised groups, which determined the closed format of the online discussion with more than 30 participants.