AMIR TELIBECIREVIC LUNJO:PORNOGRAPHY, EROTICA AND SIMILAR THINGS OF SOCIETY IN SARAJEVO BEFORE AND TODAY
It seems that erotica as an art is slowly disappearing in the entire world. That part we used to call art has transformed into some sort of industry or business while pure erotic "mutated" in pornography. It culminated in second half of 20th century through the multimedial development of technology, and it captured almost every European city so Sarajevo as well. But Sarajevo is in the heart of Balkan where political turbulence and problems are not rare and almost always are connected to all segments of life so is with world's fashion, with pornography as part a of it. This town always followed European and global fashions last 50 years with one important time vacuum spent under siege and war. Yet something was moving in town even then. In generally all other and main things that was going on under siege has been mostly related to naked pure perversion only, perversion without sex, but it's another story. Regarding all that we can talk about development of erotica and pornography in Sarajevo before, during and after the war (the last one of course). Let's do it in order:
Before the war (approximately from the middle sixties to the early nineties) there is traditionally lots of swearing and rude words across the town as in whole Balkan region after all. Every second or third spoken sentence contains slang names for male and female sex organs. All generations and society classes are swearing. People are verbally "sending" each other back to the biological anatomical place of birth in their mother's womb. They do the same with their friends as well as with their enemies. In all of that some self proclaimed moralists appeared from the communist party which was ruling these areas in the past, to "promote" alternative target for swearing against people's more vulgar rude swearing. They were simply hoping that people would just rather swear god instead of everything else they are swearing. Many years later on, some communists realized how senseless would be swearing god in the communism or atheism because it is a swear of something that doesn't exist according to their believes. After then, they started again with mothers, sisters, fathers and some human body parts (although god kept being target still, no matter which ideology is on).
Now, the question is what do they have with erotica and pornography ? Almost nothing. But it is opposite. Erotica and porno has something with them. This connection is recognized in the perverted part of pornography (someone else might say there is no pervert part of pornography since everything is perversion in there, but it's someone else's problem). Self proclaimed moralists have some feeling of complex if they don't prove themselves in their party position, so then they are torturing their spouses at home or torturing people if they get a chance for it. So much about perversion, even just a "moral" one. The real one, and more or less sophisticated one, erotica appeared first in some magazines in the sixties. They made taboo out of it only if it moves out of the daily humor frame. In another words, sexy jokes, erotic cartoons, movies and newspapers of such a character weren't stroked by censorship because it was considered as a laugh and fun for the people. So it was acceptable. If it goes a more serious way (real movies, naked photo models etc.) then it would go in slow way, but still it would go.
Sarajevo's prostitution by many points almost had no connections to development of pornography since it has been pretty specific and belongs to a different story. By the end of seventies, together with invasion of Kung fu movies the first sex movies appeared in town too. They presented some compromise between hard porno and erotica. Older guys were kind of jealous on new generations puberty's for their bigger choice of sex imagination sources, while they used to dream only about rare German and Italian magazines back in their time. Distributors of those movies for some reason made a bit idiotic translations of the movie titles like the famous one that time - "Humpty dumpty in the bed". It was a little bit strange that many Sarajevo's very popular rock bands of this decade had often a little bit funny sometimes vulgar sexy naked photos on the front side of their LPs. In the 80s there was some unusual link between every days pornography and local dark humor with bunch of jokes upon everything and everybody. Sarajevo never had a porno cinema, but porno movies used to be shown in any other cinema theater in town. At first it has been shown in the late night hours. In daily hours they played other normal kinds of movies. From year to year there was changes, so soon it was possible to see hard core porno movies in the early evening or late afternoon. Posters of the movies were sometimes with and sometimes without warning sentence - for adults only.
Yet, however with or without this caution anybody could buy a ticket and watch the movie without problems or consequences. Illustrated posters on the streets offered more and more zoomed pictures of oral or anal sexual techniques. It seemed like censorship didn't exist at all. During the show, inside the cinema halls, it is specially interesting to see the faces of old cleaning ladies and ticket salesperson who walked around seats checking if everything is in order. While they would walk, the brightness from the big screen few times would light their faces with recognizable disgusted or bored expression. To get into their minds that moment would be like to get into some pretty rare book whose author is writing as honest as it's possible for human being to be honest. When the most common porno action like felatio or cunilingus (get a Latin language dictionary) would come zoomed on the big screen there would be "special" loud comment shouted from the darkness of the cinema hall like :"Wow, look how thick is the prick of this guy, like Mike Tyson's neck"! Or bizarre conversation between a boy and a girl while they are sitting in totally different corners of the hall. Such a fact couldn't bother them so they would talk loudly through the darkness and entertain the rest of audience. He asked her : "When are you gonna have tits like this" meaning like the porno actress who just appeared in the movie to take a seat onto one naked prick in the coming scene. Then a young female voice from the other side of cinema theatre answered with another question : "and when are you gonna have such a chance!" speaking about the movie action of that moment, when some man is in the ecstasy. The movie operator, main person in cinema because he is dealing with playing the motion picture from his cabin in the back of hall, is not excluded of such a talks or events. For example, in the eighties, before the beginning of any movie in cinema there use to display big commercial message about smoking which is not allowed in cinema. As a sort of soft warning, the most used transparent on the screen was title-sentence that goes : thank you because you are not smoking in the hall. Here it is important to mention that the word smoking in our native language is also famous local slang for sucking or blow. So during one porno movie in the middle of a felatio scene, the operator displayed briefly over the whole screen this message - thank you because you are not smoking in the hall. That happened in one of the old Sarajevo cinemas which doesn't exist any more.
However the progress of video production decreased the amount of visitors in cinemas, where the fans of porno in cinemas remained mostly in few love couples and fresh puberty guys. Soon the first and only porno video club(VSR) opened in the city. Just a few years before the war, kiosks were full of various porno magazines mostly delivered from Slovenia. Some packed in plastic foil with message - for adults only. Soon on the cover pages of many newspapers as those, it could have been noticed photos with the hardest sexual techniques standing in the most prominent places of kiosk window. Same as with cinemas, there was no porno kiosks or stores, sexy & HC magazines for sale in any kiosk or even book store. All those photos in the windows, literally any passer by could normally see. Even young kid could buy one of those issues with excuse that his daddy sent him to buy it or he would by cigarettes also in order to make it look more normal situation. Speaking of that message - for adults only, well so far nobody noticed any case when some salesman asked for ID of the buyer or to ask how old he or she is.
During the war and siege.
Every day dead bodies on the streets, blood, massacres, starving, darkness, explosions, siege, snipers, poor things, diarrhea and still some pornography as well. Erotica has disappeared. Good taste also. Sex in its basic stage hasn't disappear, no matter of all circumstances. People were making children from the resistance, from the boredom (or coincidentally). Pretty independent branch of pornography was developed - war prostitution. International UN forces, so called peace keepers, settled inside and around the city, became partly international pimp forces. War prostitution is done unofficially of course, "under the table". All seemed to be as a kind of public secret. The second year of war which looked somehow apocalyptic by general atmosphere and war difficulties, has created up to a certain level organized UN - Sarajevo prostitution. There was the most miserable cases when girls would just strip off in front of some UN soldiers for a couple of beef cans or a little bigger humanitarian aid. Sometimes they could do few more things to get more quality food, a little money or drinks.
On the other hand there was also higher level prostitution recorded. High educated nice and healthy looking girls, who completed university, speaking active two or three languages, having pre war experience in jet set across the western Europe, knowing all sexual techniques. Girls like that worked for money only, and with high prices, mostly with officers (even politicians) instead of with ordinary soldiers. Orgies would be organized with them with some discretion. There have been little cases of pedophilia and homosexualism but not so much.
Again among lower class population, pornography was one sort of making money, although very weak. Former collectors of porno magazines used to take their collection to the street and sell them or exchange for food and cigarettes. Even though most of the citizens were in very bad financial position and they would buy mainly the most necessary things, still customers interested for sexy magazines existed. It was mostly younger Sarajevans who took these magazines to the front lines or just for their own and only entertainment. In rare moments when there is electricity in town, those who had a VSR could effort even to see some saved porno movie on video. In all other cases guys had to use their own imagination. But even the most bizarre sexual imagination couldn't be compared to the huge perverse dirty political, military, war situation and game that time in town which was under longest siege in modern history.
After the war.
Since the war wasn't finished but stopped by action of complicated and powerful world's policy, so there was peace but without some normal freedom. Such a condition caused version of illegal pornography, prostitution and drug dealings similar to many post communist countries. I mentioned the word 'similar' because these areas either today or before used to be only similar, never the same as the former eastern block, and why not, as western block countries too. Girls from the east are illegally taken to Bosnia and mistreated like it happens on the west. Just after the war it wasn't very obvious but as time is passing it is getting more serious.
Sarajevo saved its link to the porno world through the activities of still the only one, the same from before the war, reactivated porno video club, and with porno section shelves in all other normal video clubs in the city and around. Kiosks are again full of porno magazines mostly imported from Croatia, but from West Europe as well. Erotic issues are partly back although erotica is already out for a while.
Pornography is more recognized as industry, plus it appears in comic books more, in literature, in art and every day's life. On TV is possible to see channels of local independent and state TV, as well as neighbor countries channels, like Croatia on the west side and from Serbia on the east. One of these TV stations broadcasting, attracts special attention of many generations. It comes transmitted from Belgrade and it's called TV Palma. Those who are able to receive Palma program by their antennas had opportunity almost every night around 2 : 30 to see complete long play hard core porno movie without any censorship. Especially in eastern part of city which is closer to TV towers who are broadcasting Serbian programs. It is an interesting panoramic view at night from one hill above old part of town. In the middle of night when movie on Palma is about to start, this view from a distance offers attractive tiny light blinks in the big darkness on the next hill or in the valley. It would come when people started turning on lights in the rooms or turning on their TVs all over the settlement. Then they would enjoy free porno show in the middle of night at home, and in the morning they slept longer. Since there was over 60 % of unemployed or more, many people had enough free time to afford it. A couple years later, when NATO airplanes bombed Serbia because of the war in Kosovo it caused interruption of broadcasting many Serbian channels on Bosnian territory. So it happened to TV Palma as well. Some Sarajevans were a little pissed off with NATO airstrikes only because of that. So TV Palma is out of here for more than one year same as free HC porno shows. Some people recorded those movies on video tapes just like they anticipated things and now they have interesting collection.
This year the first Bosnian porno movie on professional level is made somewhere in Hungary. Spreading of these activities is expected soon. Still, unofficially, as "first Bosnian porno star" is considered to be Goran Bregovic, the famous rock ethno composer from Sarajevo. In the beginning of war he was in France, later on he went to Belgrade where he stayed till the end of war. Some refugees moved into his Sarajevo's apartment what happened also to many other apartments in town. Those people found in Bregovic place one video tape for private use among many other things. According to people who saw what's on the tape, it is some record of Bregovic doing dirtiest sex things with some girl who seemed to look like stoned. Several hundreds copies of this cassette were made and spread over the city. Soon it became sort of porno hit you could find in many video clubs in town. Well, this case perhaps speaks more about mentality of local people here than about Bregovic. Few guys with a little dose of malice, claims that Bregovic didn't dare to show up in Sarajevo for a few years not because he was in Belgrade during the war and siege of Sarajevo, but because so many people saw the size of his penis. In the current political establishment there are still plenty of self proclaimed "moralists" who are talking loudly against appearance of sex art in everyday's public life. But when they raise their voice against it they make something else to raise among and on the people (male mostly), including their blood pressure. This same type moralists are proper replacement for old communist & socialist hypocrites. Of course they are based on different ideology or policy but with same way of being shithead. The new ones are basing their stories on religion or so called spiritualism, but in such a way that they cause more materialism, soul suffer and cynicism with a minimum of spirituality. Are they aware of that or they just don't know what they do it's hard to say for sure, it is possible both at the same time. All those who are supporting them verbally in fighting against pornography instead of dealing with far bigger and important problems in the city and country, they don't see every Balkan society is a biggest swearing society in Europe together with themselves as parts of this colorful vocabulary. They are uselessly fighting against porno industry in their environment, plus they do this in silly and pukie way while yet unwarily and halfwarily using partly porn words & fraises in their everyday's conversation. They are repeating the "holly mantra" among their often words : fuck it, shit, cunt, crap, dick, tits, prick, ass, fucking, blow job, screwing, farting... (complete the list if you want)