Did Sarajevo's Multiethnic Spatiality Survive?: A Study of a Residential Building in the City through War and Peace
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Sarajevo’s longstanding image has been one of a functioning multiethnic spatiality where diverse identities harmoniously co-exist and share common public spaces in their everyday life. The ethnically mixed urban population of prewar Sarajevo lived multiethnic spatiality as ‘zajednicki zivot’ (common life). This notion referred to neighborliness, cooperation and trust within and across groups. The structural factors which fostered this condition of neighborly spatiality are assessed through a study of a residential building in central Sarajevo. The thesis argues that the apartment building under study was a concrete manifestation of the ideology and political economy of Tito’s Yugoslavia. It was a space made possible by an authoritarian political system and an economic order subordinated to the interest of the Yugoslav League of Communists. However, the war shattered this world and dispersed the multiethnic spatiality that characterized it. The ensuing disruption of the social, institutional and economic fabric marked the state’s transition from a socialist to a capitalist society. It led to heightened ethnic awareness as well as isolation and alienation that altered the prewar multiethnic spatiality of the city in ways that are still unfolding.
- Masters Theses