Sponsored Project

ISKRA (Spark!)

Alenka Pavlin
Alenka Pavlin, Cynthia Kane, Antje Boehmert, Petra Vidmar, Laura Plotkin

ISKRA, the electro-technical company, the ‘cash cow’ of non-aligned socialist Yugoslavia created the most stylish and copied telephones in the world. Their computer-department was bigger than Microsoft. When Gorbachev visited ISKRA in 1985, he was there to investigate why the New York Times called it ‘the recipe for success in doing business with the West.’

ISKRA’s employees nurtured it more than the system that created it. Yugoslavia being the only socialist country to break away from Soviet Union, helped ISKRA to exist for a few decades fairly uncorrupted by politics. Then politics moved in and all went to hell. ISKRA only really existed from one war to another, from end of the World War II until the demise of Yugoslavia and the wars that ensued.

This is a story of ISKRA and its family of inventors, set against a backdrop of a country exploding into war.

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