Jure Zubcic (28) from Zadar was a main attraction in the media in the region over the past few days, when he "fixed" the hatred graffiti. There was a writing on the building "Kill Serbs", and Jure just fixed something and he sent a message of love. Now, the writing says "Kiss Serbs", and this young Croat reveals for our portal that many greeted his actions, although there are still those who have xenophobic and nationalistic attitudes. He said that this is not the first graffiti that he "destroyed" and that he knows a lot of people who are doing the same thing.
He published the photos of the graffiti on social networks with the message "it is healthier to read the messages of love". Jure Zubcic said that hate speech provokes a feeling of disgust within him".
- The first thing that crosses my mind when I saw the graffiti is the same thing I think every time. I always have the need to react to any kind of xenophobia and nationalism in a public space. I have decided to "fix" graffiti because I consider that all responsible citizens should say "it's enough" to the hate speech. Everybody in accordance with their possibilities - Zubcic said for Telegraf.
— Jure Zubčić (@jurezubcic) December 9, 2018
He said that the message he wanted to send is clear.
- It is not important if someone is French, Croat, Algerian, Serb, or any other nationality, or religion, or sex, or skin color... It is important to be humane. On the other hand, I find incomprehensible that we have to repeat that over and over again, and it is apparent that we have to since it is a tragedy that my act went through the entire region. That is just a sign that all of us in the countries of the western Balkans are surrounded by nationalism and xenophobia. This should be a normal and everyday thing and not the exception - he explains.
Reactions to his "fix" of the graffiti are mostly positive, although our interlocutor doesn't exclude the fact that there were negative comments.
- My friends approve this and I only hear the words of support. As always, I receive negative comments about these things, but this time much less than usual - he said.
According to his words, "there will always be condemnations by individuals, but he doesn't want to look at them".
As he said for telegraf, there were a lot of people who said "well done", and that is just a sign that we can "outnumber nationalism and xenophobia because we are a majority".
Although there is an impression that Serbs are not welcome to Zadar due to the graffiti, our interlocutor said that "it is absolutely not true".
- I know many people who spend their summers in Zadar and they never had any problems. You can see cars with Serbian license plates on Zadar roads and people never had problems. Luckily, many authors of graffiti like this hide and are anonymous, and that is the reach of their "bravery". But, that is certainly not an argument to be quiet over such messages - the Croat said.
Jure himself doesn't know why his "fix" attracted so much attention.
- I was surprised by the publicity of my correction. Unfortunately, the media in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are full of hate speech, nationalism and xenophobia, so the graffiti calling people to kill is just a small drop in the ocean because we have Serbian, Croatian and Bosniak politicians who spread intolerance. The politicians benefit from constant media refueling of the hatred because they are incapable of achieving anything else in any other fields.
They will easily control people who are blinded with ethnic questions while we have the states in the entire region with dysfunctional public administration, economies that are falling behind the developed world with young people who are looking for a better life somewhere in the west. I can understand that my move is a news as a resistance to the policies of our governments. There are a lot of us in the entire region that won't keep quiet - said our interlocutor.
He agrees that the cities in Croatia still have people who nurture xenophobia and nationalism and that Zadar is no exception.
- As I already mentioned, we live in societies that are trying to prevent any kind of critical thinking. There are young people everywhere who strongly support nationalistic and xenophobic attitudes. The number of those young is certainly greater than in the previous eras, but I still don't think that they present the attitude and the opinion of the majority, just because they are a loud minority, and the government quietly support that kind of behavior and there is a key problem because this causes them to be even louder, and the responsible and critical young people are keeping quiet because they don't have the feeling that the society protects them as it should - Jure explains.
As he said, the graffiti of hate and those who call for violence appear from time to time in Zadar, and this is not the first graffiti which he "destroyed".
- I know a lot of people who correct these kinds of graffiti all the time, so even if they do appear, they don't last long - our interlocutor concludes.
(Telegraf.co.uk / A. Markovic)