When Trauma and Violence Manifest in Places

„These are landscapes that have not healed with the passing of time, where the stakes of traumatic memory remain contested and the legacy of what happened there continues to impact in the present“

Dear Balkan.Perspectives Readers,

In the Western Balkans, following the violent conflicts of the 1990s and early 2000s, trauma and violence have inscribed themselves in a multitude of societal realms. Various Balkan.Perspectives editions have discussed the political, social, and cultural implications and the need to continuously and critically reflect on how the past conflicts have impacted the societies in the countries of former Yugoslavia.

The current Balkan.Perspectives edition seeks to add another notion to these discussions. The Balkan.Perspectives #17 “Violence Taking Place – Trauma and War in Architecture and Public Spaces” is a critical reflection on how trauma, war, and violence have shaped the immediate environment, the buildings and places we live in, thus establishing trauma as part of our everyday life, contributing to a glorification of violence and ethno-nationalistic discourses. The destruction of specific buildings and monuments, cultural heritage sites or public infrastructure was a strategy during the violent conflicts in the region. Researchers have coined terms such as “urbicide”, “warscapes”, “memoricide” or “warchitecture” to describe this phenomenon. These terms emphasize that cities were not only the physical sites of fighting, “but architecture and urban space have also been adapted as military weaponry” .

Read more

Four Theses on the Architecture of Trauma

1.Architecture and/or Revolution? The search for answers to this complex question laid the foundations of modern architecture. As one of the great dilemmas of the 20th century, it pondered lucid ideas on the social role of architecture and its fundamental […]

Memorialization of the Present

The description of fascism by Benedetto Croce as a “contemporary moral illness” can serve as a starting point for reflecting on the phenomenon of the mass erection of revisionist, negationist, and clerical-fascist monuments all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. These monuments […]

Kosovo Cinemas in Context: a reportage

My reflection on the relation between Kosovo cinemas, public spaces, community engagement, and dealing with the past is based on my ongoing experience with the process of reviving a former cinema and building a contemporary cultural institution engaged in experimental […]

Impressum 17 – 07/2021

Editor in Chief: Alexander Vojvoda

Editorial Team: Sunita Dautbegović-Bošnjaković, Martin Filipovski, Ana Pejović

Authors: Filip Koneski, Ena Kukić, Olga Manojlović PintarArbër Sadiki, Ares Shporta, Irina Subotić, Nermina Trbonja

Podcasts: Bosnia and Hercegovina: media platform Naratorium, Đorđe Krajišnik, Armina Pilav, Damir Ugljen and Nedžad Novalić. Kosovo: TILLT Radio team, Bekim Ramku and Serbeze Haxhiaj. North Macedonia: Radio MOF, Filip Koneski. Serbia: radio show Ženergija on Radio Aparat, Zoe Gudović, Iva Čukić, Senka Domanović, Olja Nikolić Kia.

Design (Cover page): Envinion

Translation: LBG Communications (Albanian), Luna Đorđević (BHCS), Martina Kimovska (Macedonian)

Proofreading: LBG Communications (Albanian/English), Zinaida Lakić (BHCS), Zanet Ristoska (Macedonian)