Hacking Europe pp 107-128 | Cite as

Galaxy and the New Wave: Yugoslav Computer Culture in the 1980s

Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)


During the Cold War, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was geopolitically positioned in-between major world powers. Neither a part of the Warsaw Pact nor of NATO yet sandwiched geographically between these powerful blocks, the country occupied a unique position among countries politically, technologically, and culturally. In the context of the Cold War, the local emphasis on self-reliance and massive government investments resulted in a high-level technological expertise in urban Yugoslavia, while the government maintained tight control over the import of objects and ideas from the superpowers. In the cultural sense, Yugoslavia followed many contemporary trends with Western Europe and the United States, while adding a distinct local cultural flavor into the mix. As a consequence, Yugoslavia knew local subcultures that were more than a mere emulation of their Western analogues. One of these subcultures, coming to prominence in the 1980s, was the Yugoslav New Wave scene: it blended social critique, music, and arts with the occasional use of home computers. Among young urban educated Yugoslavs, a specific set of routes and trends in appropriating technologies emerged that included a home-brew computer industry and distinct subculture of meetings, radio shows, music, and parties.


Special Edition Computing Machinery Central Intelligence Agency Home Computer Consumer Society 
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© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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