Monday, October 3, 2016

28. Jun Presents Djokovic with Award at Milan Gala

I had the honor of presenting Jelena and Novak Djokovic with 28. Jun's 5th anniversary award at the Djokovic Foundation's Giorgio Armani hosted gala in Milan last week. It recognized Novak's support our maiden humanitarian project 'Boj za Kosovo' in 2011. The project turned out to be a huge success and $1.5 mil of humanitarian aid was delivered to Serbs in Kosovo, launching our then newborn movement onto the humanitarian scene.

It was an honor to be invited to such an event to celebrate the work of our colleagues in our fight to make Serbia a better place for future generations. We are celebrating our 5th anniversary this month and this is the first of five such awards which will recognize significant contributors to the success of our organization.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Media & Government Suppression of 28. Jun

On May 23-24, the humanitarian organization I founded, 28. Jun, presented at the UN’s first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. I felt extremely lucky that we secured 3 spots to what was essentially the 'Oscars' or "Superbowl' of humanitarian work. Only 2000 guests were personally invited by Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and they included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Angela Merkel, the presidents, ministers and ambassadors of over 150 countries and the leaders of every large humanitarian organization in the world.

Only one article, about what was the pinnacle of achievement in the 5 year history of our organization, came out in the Serbian media and it was entitled 'Canadian Rapper Represents Serbia'. It completely disregarded the 500 other members in 28. Jun and instead focused on a song I recorded with Ana Ivanovic in my early 20s and my brief stint in music in my late teens. The fact that 28. Jun has been my full time obsession for the past 5 years and we have become the largest Serbian organization in the world, that has delivered $4.6 mil worth of humanitarian aid, was left unmentioned.

At the summit, we spoke at two special sessions which dealt with the migrant crisis and connecting businesses with humanitarian work. We also met with Ban Ki-moon and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. I also attended a private screening of Sean Penn‘s new humanitarian-themed movie 'The Last Face' where I thanked him for not politicizing the conflict in the film like Angelina Jolie did in her anti-Serbian propaganda piece 'The Land of Blood and Honey'.

The lack of recognition by the Serbian media and the lack of cooperation from the Serbian government is not an innocent blunder. 28. Jun is a humanitarian organization but we also lead the battle against anti-Serbian defamation in the media. As recently as last week, we forced the leading German dictionary to redefine 'Ustase', in late 2015 we successfully completed the digital #NoKosovoUnesco campaign, in 2014 we spearheaded the global effort to secure and deliver flood relief to Serbia and our work goes back to 2011 when we made sponsors drop American talk show host Chelsea Lately over her xenophobic comments against Serbs.

The aforementioned work, and hundreds of other projects we executed since 2011, go far beyond the humanitarian and volunteer spheres and enter into what should be the (paid) work of the Serbian Foreign Ministry, the Office of Cooperation with the Diaspora (formerly also a ministry) and the Serbian diplomatic corps. I strongly suggest the administrative bodies within Serbia, look at other nations and follow their example of building fruitful relationships with their respective Diasporas. This is fundamental in our case, as Serbs living outside Serbia, now outnumber those in the motherland and contribute nearly a quarter of the GDP.

Monday, July 4, 2016

What Kind of People We Want in 28. Jun?

The Serbian people and the human race in general is divided into 3 categories; 85% of the population are blind sheep who are generally good but can be corrupted if placed in immoral environments, 10% are intelligent predators who exploit the 'blind sheep' and 5% are the incorruptable, poor righteous teachers whose eternal enemy is the predatory 10%. From a Serbian Orthodox Christian perspective the 5%ers are 'good' people who will go to heaven and the 10%ers are 'bad' people who will go to hell; they are engaged in an eternal struggle for the souls of the 85%.

Of course there are different levels in each category; a 5%er can be a kid who projects weaker classmates from bullies in elementary school or it can be Patriarch Pavle, Czar Lazar, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Gandhi, etc

A 10%er can be a low level neighborhood drug dealer or it can be Nero, Vuk Brankvic, George Soros, Hilary Cinton, Pinochet, etc

In 28. Jun we want only the 5%ers! Trying to use our connections for your own personal gain will eventually backfire and will bring much more harm when your true colors are revealed. If you believe that helping the less fortunate should be an integral part of life JOIN US!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Liberal vs Conservative Mind

In wake of the Trump phenomenon, I've been reading various papers and studies (even genetic research) on the liberal vs the conservative mind. In a nutshell, I would conclude liberals possess an innate, value-shifting justification system which serves to absolve hypocrisy and allow them to navigate through moral 'grey areas' in pursuit of self-interests. However the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal' in this case have nothing to do with their connotations in contemporary political ideology. For example, my grandmother had 3 brothers who were high ranking Partizani in WWII and they killed tens of thousands of people (albeit, who deserved to die; Jasenovac guards, etc) in the name of communism. As they entered old age and approached death they all converted to Orthodox Christianity. My grandmother on the other hand, never killed anyone and generally lived her life according to Christian principles and traditional cultural norms, despite identifying herself as atheist. She is now in her late years herself and does not seem to be interested in any symbolic 'death-bed conversion'. Therefore I would argue it is actually my grandmother who is conservative and her brothers who are liberal, assuming the former is defined as loyalty to core beliefs and the latter as flexible opportunism.