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” .

Author: Irina Subotić
The Destruction of Normal Life Will Not Succeed!

Author: Olga Manojlović Pintar
Four Theses on the Architecture of Trauma

Author: Filip Koneski
Urbanism without any respect for the past / Skopje

Author: Nermina Trbonja
Memorialization of the Present

Author: Filip Koneski
Urbanism without any respect for the past / Skopje - second part

Author: Arber Sadiki
The Architorture of the Last Two Decades

Author: Ares Shporta
Kosovo Cinemas in Context: a reportage

Author: forumZFD
The Balkan Perspectives Podcast

Author: Ena Kukić

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 Pintar, Arbër 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)


What is Balkan.Perspectives?

Balkan.Perspectives is a regional magazine focused on dealing with the past (DwP) in the western Balkans. Produced by forumZFD in four (4) languages, this is a collaborative effort between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia. The magazine provides a platform for local actors to support conflict-sensitive discourse on issues related to the recent past. By offering a plurality of perspectives on DwP topics from across the region, the magazine aims to challenge stereotypes and ethno-centric narratives, encourage critical thinking and wider debate, and strengthen constructive approaches to dealing with the recent past.

You can subscribe to the magazine electronically by sending an e-mail to balkan.perspectives@forumzfd.de.

We welcome and appreciate your opinions and feedback and hope you find it a valuable resource.