Zamir

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ZaMir Transnational Net was BBS system, launched by Anti-War Campaign in Zagreb in 1992 in order to connect citizens and peace activists across the war-thorn former Yugoslavia. Started by Eric Bachman, Wam Kat, Srdjan Dvornik, Ognjen Tus, with the help of Vesna Teršelič and many others.

ZaMir means "for peace" in Serbo-Croatian, Transnational means "across the borders of post-Yugoslav countries," and Net is more like a fistful of tangled fishing line tossed out between cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the rump Yugoslavia, and a server in Germany. [1]

The first two ZaMir centers began in June 1992 in Zagreb (zamir-zg), the capital of Croatia, and Belgrade (zamir-bg), the capital of Serbia and the rump Yugoslavia. In early 1994, centers in Sarajevo (zamir-sa), the besieged capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Ljubljana (zamir-lj), the peaceful capital of Slovenia, were wired. Later additions included in November 1994 Prishtina (zana-pr), the capital of Kosovo, the majority-Albanian region under Serbian control within the borders of the rump Yugoslavia; and in April 1995 the Bosnian city of Tuzla (zamir-tz). Even the founders of ZaMir seem awed by the fact that an e-mail network has taken root in the scorched Balkan earth. "I mean, people actually have ongoing conferences across these borders!" exclaims Bachman. In the words of Wam Kat, a Dutch activist who has been working on ZaMir-Zagreb since the beginning, "The most ridiculous, idiotic thing has happened - a country at war with no money now has the highest percentage of e-mail users in the peace movement: every post-Yugoslav group active in environment, peace, et cetera, is on ZaMir." [2]

ZTN sysop: Eric Bachman.
Zagreb: Srdjan Dvornik, Belgrade: Michael Szporluk, Sarajevo: Kenan Zahirovic.
ZTN Coordinating Center (Ljubljana): Willem Houwen, Bojana Humar, Sanja.
Ran on the domain ztn.zer.de (ztn.apc.org from 1996), on the server bionic.zer.de located in Bielefeld, Germany. Also used link-atu.comlink.de server in Vienna.

History

In 1992, ZaMir was established under the Anti-War Campaign of Croatia (ARK) as a network base for women's, peace and human rights organisations from around the country. ARK was established in 1989 as an alliance of 22 groups and organisations devoted to human rights protection and peace building in Croatia after the fall of the communist regime and during the war in the former Yugoslav countries.

Simultaneously, together with five other ZaMir networks based in other ex-Yugoslav countries, ZaMir ZG (Zagreb) was part of the ZTN (ZAMIR TRANSNATIONAL NETWORK), and the world-wide APC (Association for Progressive Communication) network. ZTN was an e-mail network established for Former Yugoslavia to operate as a BBS (Bulletin Board Service). BBS was created for Internet users with lower grade technical equipment that could not provide Web access. More on ZTN on [3].

In 1997 ZaMir ZG became the ICP (Internet Content Provider) named ZaMirNET. The technical part of the project has been realized by the contractual partner Iskon Ltd., including expansion of the communication infrastructure and the system administration. After simultaneous testing of both ISP and BBS, BBS was completely abandoned in 1998.

ZaMirNET has provided logistic support to numerous advocacy campaigns in Croatia. In 1999, ZaMirNET played an important role in providing technical support to Glas 99 - a Citizens' Coalition for Free and Fair Elections that initiated citizens' engagement in the democratic change of government and the fall of the former nationalistic regime. In 2001 ZaMirNET functioned as the logistic center for the civic initiative Moj glas za pravnu drzavu / My Voice for The Rule of Law when 15.000 people gathered together on the main square in the capital of Zagreb protesting against nationalists requesting amnesty for Croatian war criminals.

ZaMirNET, with its mission to support the development of Civil Society in Croatia, provides a unique non-profit Internet Content Provider (ICP). Reports on the status of human rights, as well as reports from members and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be found on the network, as well as various information services, job openings with NGOs, announcements about public events, and campaigns and activities initiated through various civic actions.

ZaMirNET, therefore, serves as a space for the free exchange of ideas and information, and hence is an irreplaceable tool in generating new ideas and civic initiatives throughout the region.

Recognition

The ZaMir network was chosen for an award named sense/information (Sinnformation) by the Green parliamentary party in the German parliament (Bundestag) in 1998.

Articles

  • Masha Gessen, "Balkans On-line – in the trenches with the warriors fighting one of the nastiest information wars of the late 20th century", in Wired 3.11, Nov 1995. [4], (mirror)
  • Eric Bachman, "Communications Aid in the post Yugoslavian countries: The origin and development of the ZAMIR transnational net (ZTN)", Posted as part of the balkans.net ‘History of ZTN’, 1996. [5]
  • Ivo Skoric and Ed Agro, "Later History of ZTN", 1996-1999. [6].
  • Ed Agro, "History of Online Missing-Persons Services, 1995-1999", 1999. [7]
  • Eric Bachman, "Zana-PR in Wonderland", Advertising the ZTN node in Pristina, Nov 1994. [8]
  • David D'Heilly, "Wam Kat Interview". May 1996. [9]
  • James Walch, "Cyber Bosnia: Computer-Mediated Communications in a War Zone". [10]
  • Paul Stubbs, "The ZaMir (for peace) Network: from transnational social movement to Croatian NGO". [11]
  • Paul Stubbs, "Conflict and Co-Operation in the Virtual Community: email and the wars of the Yugoslav succession", in Sociological Research On-line, 3 (3) (1998). [12]
  • Rick E. Bruner, "Wired Bosnia", Wired 2.01, Feb 1996. [13]
  • "Final Report: Balkan Media Network", Jan 1996. [14]
  • press archive, [15]
  • James Walch, "Networking in a War Zone: The Case of Former Yugoslavia", in In the Net: an Internet guide for activists, 1999. [16]
  • Igor Markovic, "Tactical Media as a Tool for Survival in the War Zone", in Proceedings from the Globalization from Below conference, Duke University, NC. [17] [18]
  • Amy Herron, Eric Bachman, "ZaMir Transnational Net: Computer-Mediated Communication and Resistance Music in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", in Culture and technology in the new Europe: civic discourse in transformation in post-communist nations edited by Laura B. Lengel, 2000. [19]
  • Tom Bass, Friedrich Tietjen, "In dependence. A brief history of Belgrade's radio station B92", 2001. [20] [21]

See also

Links