Published by Buka, a Bosnian online magazine, “Hejt Sloveni” is a video made as part of an awareness campaign inviting reflection about the hate speech current in ex-Yugoslavia’s social media. The pun is subtle: Hejt (hatred) is similar to Hej, as in “Hej Sloveni” (Hey Slavs) – the title of the Bosnian national anthem.
The video shows a Bosnian woman, Azra (Hristina Popović), shopping in a supermarket where she meets her butcher Dulet, a Serbian (played by Goran Bogdan), and a cashier Josip, who is Croatian (the pop star Severina). Despite their broad smiles and friendly facades, their exchanges could not be more virulent. Such a scene is not uncommon in Bosnia, where three nationalities – Bosnians, Serbs and Croats – live together. Seen by two million people in 48 hours, the video touches a nerve in the Balkans.
“For years we have been trying to speak out against hate speech, especially on the Internet. […] We had to insert a hate speech so we could fight it,” Buka’s editor-in-chief Aleksandar Trifunovic told the BBC. The media journalists working on Buka and covering the whole Balkan Peninsula report being sent more and more hate messages over the years.
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