Jay Surdukowski to Present Paper in Belgrade, Serbia at an International Conference on Testimony, Poetry, and Language in Relation to the Yugoslav Wars

Attorney Jay Surdukowski of the Firm’s Concord, New Hampshire office will travel to Belgrade, Serbia in December to present a paper on the trial of Radovan Karadžić at an international conference entitled “Testimony, Poetry, and Language,” part of a project exploring the legacy of the Yugoslav wars of 25 years ago.

Radovan Karadžić, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, was convicted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2016 for war crimes stemming from the violent breakup of the Balkan nation.

Surdukowski’s paper, “The Sword and the Shield: The Uses of Poetry at the War Crimes Trial of Radovan Karadžić the Poet-Warrior” will build on his earlier work “Is Poetry a War Crime: Reckoning for Radovan Karadžić the Poet Warrior” which appeared in the Michigan Journal of International Law.  The piece focused on the nexus of Karadžić nationalist poetry and his crimes and potential evidentiary utility of some of the poet-warrior activities such as Karadžić reciting one of his poems before inviting a Russian writer to try his hand at firing a machine gun into an apartment building in the besieged city of Sarajevo or exhorting genocidal actions at the front line with vivid nationalist poetry that countenanced violence against Muslims.

Surdukowski spent both his law school summers interning at the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY in The Hague where he assisted with the trials of Slobadon Milosevic, Jovica Stanišić, and Naser Orić.

The conference which receives support from the European Commission is hosted by the Center for Cultural Decontamination, and The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, both located in Belgrade.  Other project partners include: The Ignorant Schoolmaster and his Committees, Belgrade; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Boem, Vienna, Austria; Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa  (OBCT Transeuropa), Rovereto, Italy; Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo; Centre for Cultural and Social Repair, Banja Luka; The Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany.