The project will make a map with the names of the main streets, public spaces and monuments in Belgrade and Sarajevo during and after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The aim of the project is to examine the impact of the war in a post-conflict context and how to rename urban elements in both cities. It will also question the role of capitals in the transition from a socialist state to a capitalist nationalist country while exploring whether there are any points of overlap in the common past.
“One of the project’s main goals is to raise awareness of the importance of naming and owning public space, especially through the perspective of minority (and/or marginal) communities. By creating a database of knowledge and tools for education (publication), we want to strengthen the common, and thus future cooperation, and increase the power of conflict resolution,” emphasizes Prof. Lejla.
Tandem is a cultural cooperation program that strengthens civil society in Europe and neighboring regions and is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation and MitOst e.V. „Tandem Western Balkansˮ is a one-year program that enables the start of long-term regional cooperation in the Western Balkans. The tandem platform supports social change through strategic cultural action and is designed as space for project initiators to acquire new skills, develop innovative practices and connect with regional networks.
The official duration of this project is one year with the aim of developing a long-lasting relationship of cooperation that will allow the project to expand beyond this timeframe. As part of the project, there will be two working meetings: one in Skopje and one in Prizren with a final meeting in Sarajevo. The two Tandem partners will also be given the opportunity to spend time in both cities for ten days each to further develop the project.
„This project offers an opportunity for a multidisciplinary approach to analyze a common past of the two cities and examine the political points of divergence through changes in the names of urban spaces and elements. We look forward to this interdisciplinary research where we cross urban studies with studies of politics and memory, where with the help of technology we want to bring this issue closer to our target group, ˮ adds Prof. Lejla.
The fact is that participation in the project will be a great step towards creating cooperation between International Burch University and Philopolitics, but will also involve many representatives of local institutions, local civic activists and civil society organizations, as well as members of the academic community in Sarajevo and Belgrade.
In the end, we can be proud of bringing past and present together in a positive way. We are aware that there are so many things that connect Sarajevo and Belgrade: a common past and socio-political and economic issues that concern both societies, and we are proud to be part of a project that encourages reflection on the common fate and future of these two cities.