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National Capital, Transnational Culture

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Foreign Entertainment in Interwar Belgrade

image of East Central Europe

In the two decades following the Great War, foreign singers, dancers, films, and magazines streamed into Belgrade, then the capital of newly unified Yugoslavia. Popular culture was both accessible and attractive to ordinary Belgraders. State officials, prewar Serbian conservatives, and elites, however, blamed the residents’ reorientation toward foreign fun for a number of problems such as bad taste, social degeneracy, and, most importantly, a disruption to Yugoslav unification. Yet as critics discredited foreign popular culture in interwar Belgrade, urbanites embraced it with equal fervor. This article examines how foreign popular culture, as well as the debates surrounding it, established the foundation for a transnational urban identity that Belgraders shared with other European city-dwellers.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville jbabovic@utk.edu

10.1163/18763308-04201004
/content/journals/10.1163/18763308-04201004
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/content/journals/10.1163/18763308-04201004
2015-08-08
2017-11-19

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