What were the worst sounds?
As far as sound is concerned, the first one I remember is that of the warning siren, 'Šizela' (the 'freakout' one). It was very distinct.
On the other hand, I remember well the sound of the explosions. Detonations. Into the ground and concrete. I remember the white noise from the radio, that sound of static. Simply because my dad watched CNN the night before the bombing and circumstantially found out that they were going to bomb Belgrade tomorrow.
Since he knew what was located on Straževica; that it was a military base- we packed that night and went to my grandma's village. After two days we returned to see what was left. I have one picture in my memory, of the huge concrete rock that fell onto my brother's pillow. We had a bunk bed and if we didn't leave that night, he probably wouldn't be alive right now. Some parts of the house weren't there at all anymore.
With sound there's always an image.
What were the calming sounds?
My mother's voice, her talking. Now I don't remember the exact words, probably 'Everything will be alright'. It was a very endearing and nurturing voice.
There were also cartoons, the sounds of many characters.
And thirdly, there are the sounds of the cassettes. Some had songs from the nineties that our parents played for us, both domestic and foreign.
What do you think of the remaining ruins? What do you think should happen to them?
I think some of them should remain. So they can remind us of the nonsense that happened and the wrong decisions some people made.
Furthermore, I think ruins don't have to just be ruins, but they can become monuments of cultural memory. I think that's what we lack in general. They should exist, they should be talked about and why things are how they are should be explained.
It's insane how now, that ruin is covered by a banner that has an army slogan which says 'The one who dares, succeeds'. Because of that the building gets an entirely different meaning. Especially when the other side of that building, the one closer to the government, has been sold to someone wanting to build a shopping center.
What would you like people who don't know about the bombing to know?
If peace is achieved by bombs, thanks but no thanks.
Unfortunately, the whole story of the bombing dates back to the establishment of Yugoslavia. What I think is that people should know the entire story. They should know who Slobodan Milošević was, what the situation was like here and how it came to be, do to the interest of everyone involved... Well, we don't know that, we only know things because of undercover papers.
I think we won't know the complete truth anytime soon. Because witnesses of that time are still alive.
For example, Bill Clinton that was at the time the president of the United States who made the decision and talked about why Serbia should be bombed. I think that, in Belgrade, there should exist a monument or a monument-locality, that could be Generalštab, in which people can see all of the different aspects of the story. And that both sides would be invited to say what they have to.
What is one of your most important memories of the time?
I wouldn't want to contribute to its significance, but it was in fact going to the basement shelter of my grandparents, because we went to their house immediately. We were in the basement every night. I have a recollection of darkness that later turned into a fear of said darkness.
Additinally, me, as well as my entire family, developed a need for collecting things. My inability to let trinkets go is directly linked to the abrupt departure of a space.