detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, November 27, 2002

: . Naked Truths:

A collection of images -- in S, M, L, and XL versions -- exposing mostly former-Yugoslavian newsmakers for what they really are. The images are from Duplerice, a special feature of Mladina magazine, a muckraking Slovenian publication. A brief history:
    Mladina magazine was established in 1943, on the liberated territory of Slovenia, as a paper of the Communist Youth Organization...After WW2, it remained the official mouthpiece of the Socialist Youth Alliance of Slovenia...However, in the early '80s, Mladina turned into a bulldozer that started to destroy all the sacred symbols and taboos of the Socialist society. To put it bluntly, they [Mladina reporters] were the pain in the ass for the power structure. And the federal presidency itself had to meet to find out what to do with these "anarcho-liberals" and "agents of the Western intelligence agencies"...Focusing on internal affairs, Mladina has remained a "pain in the ass" also for the new democraticly elected authorities. Whether conservative or liberal, no politician is safe from its authors' sharp pencils. And as someone once said, Mladina is not only a watchdog. It is a watchdog that barks.

According to a report in Ljubljana Life magazine, "the only English language publication devoted exclusively to the unique and fascinating city of Ljubljana, the capital of the small but beautiful European country of Slovenia":
    Every week, the centerfold of Mladina is reserved for an artistic rendering of a newsmaker from the previous week. The feature is called Duplerice, and everyone from Milan Kucan to Jorg Haider to Archbishop of Ljubljana France Rode has been portrayed either naked or in the throws of passion.
    Scandalous by its very nature, Duplerice has nevertheless been making more of an impact lately. There was little comment last June when it featured American president George W. Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin naked, but its recent rendering of American ambassador Johnny Young -- stark naked wearing a star spangled banner condom -- elicited protest from the embassy.
    Mladina insists that the Duplerice images are art...

My favorite Duplerice image by far is this one which portrays the Lacanian Marxist (and former Slovenian presidential candidate) Slavoj Žižek (pronounced "slavoi jijek") as a loony man-child, sitting cross-legged in the midst of what appears to be a third world tropical jungle guerrilla war, wearing a bib stamped with the face of Joseph Stalin.

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