On the Cover
Photo taken by Karolina Lendák-Kabók: The graffiti is in Serbian written in Latin letters: “Novi Sad - a city of love and tolerance,” but the word “tolerance” is crossed out, and is written in Cyrillic. Since the 1990s, Cyrillic letters have become a symbol of Serbian nation-building. In 2006, a new constitution made Cyrillic the official script. As of 2021, a law on using Serbian in public life depicts Cyrillic letters as a stronghold of Serbian national identity. Cyrillic letters must be used in the work of state bodies, autonomous provinces, cities, municipalities, institutions, companies, and other organizations when they exercise public powers. All public signs in Serbian must be written in Cyrillic. In Novi Sad, the capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, more than 20 ethnicities live together, and four languages are in official use in the city (Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, and Rusyn), of which only Serbian and Rusyn use the Cyrillic alphabet. The graffiti presents a clear message on this hegemonic discourse dating from the 1990s, but strengthened by law during the democratic period of the state, serving as an ironic message to the diverse ethnic background of the city.