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Kursumlija, Serbia’s City Of Women

The municipality of Kursumlija is the poorest in all of Serbia. But a determined lady mayor and fellow female officers intend to turn it into “a Serbian Switzerland.”

Kursumlija in southern Serbia has fallen on hard times
Kursumlija in southern Serbia has fallen on hard times
Thomas Roser

KURSUMLIJA -- The upper-floor windows of the desolate building on Kosovo Street are missing the glass. The display windows at street level are empty. Back when this town was part of Yugoslavia, 500 people worked at the local Konfekcija textile factory. "But nobody works there now," says Zoran, a toy shop owner in Kursumlija.

Every morning, the grey-haired Serb sets his inflatable wading pools and brightly-colored beach balls up on the sidewalk in front of his shop, and every evening fetches them – unsold – back inside. "The young people are moving to the big cities, and the ones who stay don't have jobs -- or money," he says. The Kosovo war, the world financial crisis, and "very bad privatization" have "finished" the place, says Zoran. "Kursumlija is dead."

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Families wait for news of their missing relatives following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Barev!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where 21 are killed in a school shooting in Texas, Davos focuses on Ukraine, and a vertigo-inducing world record is broken at Mont-Saint-Michel. Die Welt also offers a psychoanalyst’s perspective on how war survivors pass trauma onto their children.

[*Armenian]

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