meaningful in late-twentieth-century Yugoslavia, shows how everyday German-language racialised imaginaries in the region could remain. German fascination with Native Americans, ignited by Karl May's Winnetou novels (1875–1910), inspired hobbyist re-enactment groups and many popular films, and arguably represented a certain racial exceptionalism itself (May's white German protagonist, allied with Natives against villainous Americans, embodied a brotherhood with the Indian hero that distanced the nation from its own colonialism) (Sieg 2002 ). This fascination was directly
through dress, simulations of African-American Vernacular English in rap, and most visibly when directors placed black dancers alongside the white musicians in some videos that gave the genre an audiovisual identity.
One 1996 video featuring two Cro-dance singers who established longer pop careers than most, Nina Badrić and Emilija Kokić, for their song ‘Ja sam vlak’ (‘I am a train’ 2 ), for instance, used graffiti-covered concrete urban sites to evoke the inner-city landscapes (racialised as African-American) of US hip-hop photographyand video, and
society’s left-behind. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and was
made into a film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. The screenplay was by Kennedy and faithfully followed the novel’s plotline. It was
released in 1987, the same year that Wall Street was released, with its
motto ‘greed is good’. Leaving Las Vegas seems to follow in Ironweed’s
footsteps –a novel first (1990), then a film (1995), with both novel andfilm very much a part of the social and cultural landscape of overdriven
consumerism and self-indulgence. If Ironweed’s critique of capitalism
means of mastering the
elemental forces of a technological second nature. Photographyandfilm accustom humanity to the new apperceptions conditioned by technology. Technological art – like filmandphotography – becomes the
site of exploration of future relations between the technology and the
58 Our comments on Benjamin are cursory. For scholarly work on Adorno and
Benjamin see Buck-Morss, Origin of Negative Dialectics, and A. Benjamin, ed.,
The Problems of Modernity: Adorno and Benjamin (London: Routledge, 1989).
Useful collections in English on Benjamin include G