#4 Belgrade

Content d’avoir pu rejoindre Belgrade depuis Ljubljana en seulement une journée, je décide de faire une halte d’une semaine pour explorer la capitale serbe. Je loge dans la première auberge de mon voyage et je suis ravi de retrouver l’ambiance internationale, jeune et festive qui y règne.

Beograd présente de nombreux intérêts d’ordre linguistique, confessionnel et historique. La Serbie est le premier pays de mon périple qui utilise, en plus de l’alphabet latin, l’alphabet cyrillique, un alphabet similaire mais non identique à la version russe. Même si l’alphabet cyrillique demeure prédominant, les panneaux sont généralement écrits dans les deux alphabets. Cette différence scripturale donne une dimension exotique et dépaysante à la Serbie. S’il est parfois possible de déduire le sens d’inscriptions en langues étrangères dans des pays utilisant notre alphabet, il s’avère impossible d’en faire autant ici.

 

Bienvenue en terre orthodoxe

Le dépaysement s’étend également à la sphère religieuse. Finies les églises catholiques, près de 90% des Serbes sont orthodoxes. Belgrade abrite la cathédrale Saint-Sava, le plus grand édifice orthodoxe des Balkans. Il est intéressant d’y observer comment les fidèles vouent leur culte. Des similarités avec l’Église catholique se font ressentir, les deux variantes du christianisme n’ayant pris des chemins séparés qu’à partir de l’an 1054. Tout comme l’Église catholique, l’Église orthodoxe entretient une importante tradition musicale. Cette dernière ne s’exprime néanmoins pas à travers l’orgue mais par le chant. Dès l’instant où ils franchissent les portes de la cathédrale avec des signes de croix répétés jusqu’au moment où il convient d’embrasser les icônes – représentations de personnages saints et de scènes de la Bible – les orthodoxes semblent avoir une relation nettement plus gestuelle, tactile, fusionnelle à la religion.

Bellicisme exacerbé et sentiment de supériorité ethnique et religieuse

L’aspect qui m’a le plus frappé durant ma visite de la ville est le rapport qu’entretient une partie de la société serbe avec son histoire récente. L’éclatement de la Yougoslavie dans les années 1990 fût ponctué de conflits meurtriers toujours très présents dans les mémoires. Je tiens à préciser que mon expérience n’engage que moi, est limitée et n’est à ce titre pas nécessairement synonyme de vérité absolue. Néanmoins, pour avoir parcouru cinq des six anciennes républiques qui constituaient la Yougoslavie, la Serbie semble se démarquer par un bellicisme exacerbé et un sentiment de supériorité ethnique et religieuse. Une des principales « attractions » de la ville est un musée militaire où sont fièrement exposés des dizaines de chars d’assaut et autres machines de guerre datant notamment des guerres yougoslaves. Des posters dénonçant les « criminels de guerres musulmans » et autres « terroristes Albanais », ainsi que l’ONU, l’Union Européenne et les États-Unis ont étés installés sur plusieurs dizaines de mètres devant le Parlement et le Palais de Justice, et semblent ainsi incarner le discours politique officiel.

On y voit aussi des photographies pour le moins choquantes de cadavres mutilés et éventrés, qui donnent à tout cet étalage des allures de propagande de bas étage. Si l’essence même de la guerre induit que des atrocités ont été commises par les différents camps, certaines déclarations sont de mauvais goût et de véracité douteuse. L’un des slogans pose par exemple les Serbes comme victimes du génocide de Srebrenica alors que le consensus historique a établi que plus de 8000 civils Bosniaques musulmans y ont été massacrés par des factions de soldats Serbes. La question épineuse du Kosovo est également au centre des tensions. La Serbie doit en effet reconnaître l’indépendance de son ancienne province désormais principalement peuplée d’Albanais avant de pouvoir prétendre adhérer à l’Union européenne.

S’il est primordial de se souvenir de son passé, il est tout aussi important de se tourner vers l’avenir, sous peine de voir germer de nouveaux conflits dans la région.

 

Mon appareil photo ayant été volé en Slovénie, les photos illustrant cet article ont été prises avec l’appareil photo de médiocre qualité de mon téléphone.

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