Student - Journal
The periodical “Student” was one of the most important magazines in socialist Yugoslavia. The magazine was published by students of Belgrade University and dealt with student problems as well as with broader social and political issues. It was often critical towards the regime and the communist party authorities, which resulted in its being banned several times. The collection is kept at the National and University Library in Belgrade.
Show on map
Provenance and cultural activities
The “Student” magazine has a long tradition and holds an important place in Serbian and Yugoslav political, social and cultural history. The first issue was published in 1937 by the anti-fascist youth movement at the University of Belgrade. Publishing was suspended during the Second World War in Yugoslavia, while the first issue of the renewed edition appeared in 1946.
The 1960s and 70s were the most significant period in the history of “Student”, when the periodical became the leading university student magazine in Belgrade and beyond. These were the decades when the magazine had significant social and political influence. At that time, “Student” had a notable circulation of several ten thousand (in 1968 as many as 50,000 copies) and was one of the most widely read papers. It mainly dealt with student living standards and everyday problems, but also with the living conditions of other population groups, as well as with “the concrete manipulation of the public and particular forms of the violent restriction of democracy” (N. Popov, 2008, 234). The magazine also had an emancipatory role, according to some of its long-time collaborators. “Alongside the efforts made for the published items to convey objective information to the reader and contribute to raising his educational level, its critical and independent thinking is exceptional. In this sense, the large number of philosophical, sociological and literary discussions will probably draw the attention of later researchers” (N. Popov, 2008, 235).
At important and watershed moments such as the year 1968, the “Student” magazine proved a crucial, and at the same time – for the authorities – problematic, paper. Thus “Student” fell out of favour after the student revolt and its entire editorial staff was dismissed. The next issue only appeared on 15 October 1968, a month later than its regular date of publication, and with a changed editorial policy. This was still insufficient, and “Student” took a new blow at the end of 1969 when the editorial staff was dismissed once again (more under featured item).
Alija Hodžić, one of ’Student’ magazine’s editors, talked with COURAGE about the time when he worked there: “Although it was strenuous, working at ’Student’ was really satisfying because the members of the editorial staff and the broader circle of collaborators were highly motivated, very interested in producing, under the conditions at that time, a free student paper whose distribution through the existing network was halted, circulation was, depending on the individual issue, between 45,000 and 50,000, and which made it to its readers, except for 3,000 subscribers, via the Belgrade streets and Belgrade cafés. Our attempt to reach readers in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Novi Sad and Niš in the same way was made impossible. In Zagreb, our vendor who was calling out headlines from ’Student’ on the main city square, was arrested and charged with an offence for which he received a prison sentence.“
In the 1970s, “Student” continued to gather critically-minded youth, causing it to be banned several times. During its long existence, “Student” tended towards politically left, almost anarchist, concepts. Publication was interrupted in the 1990s, but was continued later and today the magazine can be read only online. Today, “Student” has lost its earlier significance and status and has almost no influence on contemporary youth.
The history of “Student” is marked by a series of bans. Among the most important was the withdrawal of three of five consecutive issues published in June 1968, whereby the bans on the first two were temporary and later lifted – these issues are today accessible to researchers (June 4 and 8). This was not the case for the number 5 special issue published on 25 June 1968, which remained permanently banned and today is not part of the collection.
The next series of bans occurred in 1971 when repression began to intensify in Yugoslavia, resulting in a whole series of prohibitions and even the arrest of artists in the following years. The first issue to be banned in 1971 was that of April 30, “due to the spreading of false and alarming information that could lead to unsettle citizens”; next was the issue published on August 24 which, ironically, was dedicated to the bans; the November 24 issue was prohibited for publishing a discussion from the Assembly of the Students’ Union at which critical voices were heard and for republishing a text from Ljubljana’s “Tribune” in which the person and deeds of J. B. Tito were allegedly insulted (S. Popović, 2003, 1, 142). In December, an issue dedicated to underground culture was withdrawn because of a letter that was interpreted as an assault on the dignity of President Tito (Vučetić, 2016, 64-65). In the following years, the number 21 issue of “Student” was banned in 1972 for “provoking the aggravation of citizens” (S. Popović, 2003, Poslednja instanca 1, 262). The number of bans decreased at the beginning of the 1980s, but censorship still occurred sporadically in the form of pressure on the editorial staff to eliminate texts, for example on the living standards of students, since they could “unsettle the Belgrade public” – the issue in question was number 21–22, 1984. One of the last bans was in 1989 because of the text, “The Machinations of the SFRY Presidency” (issue nr. 3). (S. Cvetković, K. Niklić, Đ. Tripković, 2010, Bela kniga 1984, 274-278).
Today, all the accessible issues are kept by two institutions: the National Library of Serbia and the University Library in Belgrade. Both institutions do not maintain special collections, but have a periodicals department. The magazines are accessible to all researchers. It is important to note that some issues are quite extensively damaged (cover pages or individual articles have been removed), so research is recommended in both libraries since some of the damaged issues held in the National Library (such as those from June 1968) are fully preserved in the University Library.
Description of content
- The magazine appeared every week and the accessible issues can be found in two libraries in Belgrade: the National Library of Serbia and the University Library.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 100-499
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia
Show on map
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Radović, Sanja
Hodžić, Alija, interview by Radović, Sanja , June 05, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection