When on May 22, 2020, a yellow cardboard cutout of crucified Jesus Christ appeared on a pole hoisting multiple advanced CCTV cameras in New Belgrade it immediately became one of the most shared images on social media in Serbia. This installation, called “New Faith” was just one of many viral works of a young street artist and an architecture student from Belgrade – Andrej Josifovski, a.k.a. Pijanista (The Pianist). The goal of this work was to raise awareness of the issue of mass surveillance in modern society and to criticise the decision of the Belgrade city government to install thousands of HD CCTV cameras around the city without properly informing citizens on how their privacy will be affected by this new technology. The installation was soon taken down by the authorities, but it managed to kickstart the ongoing debate on privacy protection and surveillance in Belgrade.
This was not the first, nor the last time that Pijanista was in a hotspot of Serbian and Western Balkans media. We are inviting you to take a deeper look into Andrej’s opus and learn what his opinions of progress, privacy and freedom are in an interview he gave to Radio Free Europe.