Vesna Đukić

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Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Arts in Belgrade



The subject of the paper is the "State Double" model, which has been developed by the dissident intellectual elite in the cultural policy of Serbia during the last fifty years, expressing disagreement with the ruling political and cultural currents. The aim of this paper is to determine the correlation between this informal model and the official models of cultural policies in the period from 1971 to 2021. The research includes an analysis of the “Arm’s length” model of "self-government in culture" of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and state models of "blocked transition" with variations in the period of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Republic of Serbia (RS). The results of the historical-comparative analysis showed that despite the theoretical differences between the “arm’s length” and “state” models of cultural policies, in practice the symbiosis of bureaucracy in public administration and the network of political parties, civil organizations, media and cultural and artistic elite operating within the dissident subcultural model. Thus, in the field of culture, a third model was created, which we called “the double of the state” model in cultural policy of Serbia. The results of the research clearly indicate the continuity of the “double state”, but also the ambivalence of this model towards the state and government. We follow the phenomenon from the parastate model of self-governing cultural policy directed “against the monopoly of power” through dissident subcultural model цреатеcreated by intellectuals, cultural and artistic elite who were excluded from public life due to their undesirable ideological attitudes (1971-1975). Then we see how the previous model is transformed into a state model of “blocked transition in culture” which blocks the process of strategic conceptualization of democratic transition and consolidation of cultural system in two phases (1989-2000, 2000-2012). Finally, after the loss of power (2012), the “double state” through the subversive question “how much does the national interest cost” moves backwards “against the monopoly of power”. This closes the circle of ambivalence of the “double state” which, after 50 years of the “Congress of Cultural Action”, led to the reaffirmation of the idea of ​​a parastate model of self-government in culture corrected and adapted to the new situation. Thus, we see that the dissident subcultural model of the political, intellectual, cultural and artistic elite in Serbia tends to become dominant (mainstream), but due to its subversive and alternative nature, it remains committed to its dissident character even when its members are in power or close to power. The dissident character is reflected in the contact cultural action against the “undesirable” values ​​of the dominant cultural model. This ideological dimension of dissident tutoring brings us to another characteristic of the “double state” model, which is reflected in the attitude towards the democratization of the cultural system. In this sense, dissidents first advocate the idea that society with its new achievements, democratization and self-government should remove restrictions on freedom of creation, and the results of research on transitional cultural policy in Serbia show that the “double state” and when it comes to power creation. Thus, we see that the dissident way of thinking is always the opposition of the government. Even in power, dissidents do not show responsibility for the democratization of the cultural system and the freedom of creativity of many different social groups that develop their own subcultural models. They remain committed only to the dissident subcultural model which, with the help of cultural policy instruments, seeks to transform it into a dominant cultural model. It is absurd that the restrictions on democratization and freedom of creativity are set by the intellectual, cultural and artistic elite, which by definition should encourage cultural diversity, the spirit of tolerance, intercultural dialogue and free cultural and artistic development. This is especially so because theoretical models in practice do not exist in pure form because the permeability between cultural models in practice is such that the audience moves freely from model to model. When permeability is blocked and freedom of movement between cultural models is restricted for ideological reasons, we encounter undemocratic models of cultural decision-making. Since the model of cultural policy that we have called the “double state” is restrictive in its direction, it cannot be called true, but pseudo-cultural policy. It is only a step different from repressive anti-cultural policy.