Sarajevo used to be one of the most liveable cities in former Yugoslavia. Famous for it’s vivid atmosphere, nice people and diverse culture, where people of different believes, ethnics and nationalities lived together in harmony. It was the only city with a mosque, orthodox church, catholic church and synagogue in one single district. This ‘Golden Age’ had it’s peak in 1984 during hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, when all eyes of the world were set on this small valley city.
What used to be a city visited by people from afar became a war-zone during the Bosnian war, when the city became the longest besieged city in 20th century, spanning from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996 – 1425 days in total. The city was encircled by the Yugoslav People’s Army and on daily basis shelled by mortars or shot by sharpshooters. It’s not difficult to imagine that the relationship to the public space had to change dramatically, in order to survive. If in the past the synonym for a pleasant weather was sunny and bright day, during the siege it was rain and darkness, so that they couldn’t be spotted by snipers.
As a team of three architecture students we are on our way to spend one week in this captivating city, in order to research the complicated relationship between city’s residents and it’s public space. We want to find out if there are still some visible traces of the siege in the today’s public space and secondly, how did the city handled the change of it’s public spaces after the siege.
During our research we are going to record several interviews with professionals, as well as few other interviews with locals. Furthermore we want to compare historical pictures with the current ones, in order to perceive the changing dynamics of public space. We will keep you updated about our voyage on this luck. Wish us good luck!
Anna, Marijana, Adam
picture source: Reuters