Last week I went on a trip to Western Serbia, on the mountain called Medvednik. In one remote village, I was invited for a lunch and there I met some people willing to talk about the AFZ (Antifašistički front žena - The Anti-Fascist Women's Front was an organisation of the Yugoslav Communist Party whose purpose was to work with women). I was shocked that 65 years later they still remember names of the AFZ activists and name of the local AFZ leader in the village. They can't remember any of her activities except that she, together with the other state officials, forced peasants to work in the so called Front's brigade - to work on distant infrastructural project. However, they showed me her old house where the AFZ centre was. Unfortunately she is no longer alive, and even her daughter is dead by now. Nevertheless, in that village I have found out another interesting things - that there is still an active fortune teller in another village close by (close by in their terms, one hour walking).
Now this is important because in my sources on the countryside, these fortune-tellers were the main class enemies. They were the only women in the countryside who had agency in the reports, press and speeches. Even Kulak's wives were presented as passive victims. Fortune-tellers, on the other hand, were seen as predators responsible for huge mortality rate of women and children.
So I went to another village (all these villages have only few houses now), and met that woman. She is still an active fortune-teller and she still practices alternative medicine. The closest doctor is in a town called Ljubovija which is around 30km away, so people are still coming to her, and she was not surprised to see me.
Now, talk with her was very hard, because she is almost completely deaf. However, while she was reading my future from the hand, I was able to communicate some things. She is fully illiterate, her father did not allow her to go to school, although her brothers were allowed. She learned this 'craft' when she was ten years old, but not from her mother, and this is very unexpected. She explained that she was brought to the woods by some man, and he taught her. However, while I was talking with her I noticed that she confuses sexes sometimes. So it might still be a woman. Another interesting thing was when I mentioned partisans and chetniks, but she just heard chetniks and started to shout that they were killing and beating people in her village, and praised partisans for liberation. Then I wanted to know if she had any problems with the communists after the war, and she said something important - that there were no problems at all, on contrary, they were allowed to go the city hall, to the courts, and to drive tractors! And while she was telling this she was speaking in female gender.
It is impossible to make structured interview with her due to hard of hearing and her talk is often not very connected, and even fairies were included.
Anyway, I got some really interesting information from this little excursions: even such remote and poor villages had their local AFZ activists. Second, this fortune-teller worked during the entire socialist period as the main fortune-teller in the village, and she works as one now. How successful was the AFZ?