The nineteenth century in Serbia began with two uprisings against an Ottoman overlordship that had oppressed not only the Serbs, but all of Southeastern Europe for almost four hundred years. Fired by memories of their medieval empire and determined to restore Serbia as a Christian state with European-style institutions, Serbia’s two princely families, the Karadordevices and the Obrenovices, vied with one another to modernize the country and eventually, in 1878, to achieve its full independence from the Ottoman Empire. Kata Nesiba: The Authentic and Illustrated History of a Belgrade Whore and Her Struggles for Her Constitutional Rights, 1830–1851, by retired Belgrade attorney Ivan Janković and illustrator Veljko Mihajlović, tells in vivid and authentic detail a major portion of the story of Serbia’s emancipation and modernization. Based on extensive research in Serbian archives, the author and illustrator uncover the tumultuous life of Kata, a Belgrade sex worker, as she lives and works in mid-century Serbia. They adduce numerous side stories, as well, to depict the sexual mores of the country at that time, not just of the “whores and harlots of Belgrade,” but also of the cross-dressing tavern entertainers, the LGBT population, political figures both small and great—Vuk Stefanović Karadzić, the “Father of Serbian Literacy” among them—and the ever-diminishing power of the Turks in Serbia’s political, economic, and social life. From dusty archives Kata Nesiba brings to life the authentic stories of the men and women who experienced some of the most tumultuous times in Serbia’s long and fraught history. And, as the author and illustrator delight in pointing out, so much of what happened then is happening again, in a Serbia once again independent.
This cinema based language textbook introduces high-intermediate and advanced students of Russian to eleven prominent Russian films of the 1990s. The chapters of the volume focus on the films' vocabulary, contents, and cultural implications, while stimulating classroom discussions within and beyond the context of each film. Throughout the book students are encouraged to draw parallels between Russian cinema and other cinemas, including Hollywood productions. Each unit features the following sections: -Обсуждаем фильм encourages meaningful, paragraph-length communication about each film, its characters, actors, as well as relevant cultural and socio-political information. -Критики о фильме features selected critical quotations from Russian media sources and asks students to express their opinion while agreeing or disagreeing with the critics. -За рамками фильма stimulates conversation on topics that are of concern to students based on issues raised in the film.