Divide et appelle: The Divided Cities and Their Symbolic Mapping Cover Image
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Divide et appelle: разделените градове и тяхното символно поставяне на картата
Divide et appelle: The Divided Cities and Their Symbolic Mapping

Author(s): Srđan Radović
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: This paper discusses several questions of symbolic (re)configuration of divided or frontiercities. Interventions in the urban text which usually strengthen the existing lines of divisions are showcased by examples from the cities of Mostar and (Eastern) Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Construction and reconstruction of objects, changes of urban topnyms, and postwar memorialization are some of the elements of contested politics of space which symbolically map perceived national territories in urban areas. Such identity politics in so-called frontier cities are more encompassing and more intensive than in areas which formally don’t represent places of competition or conflict between two or more communities. Particular symbolic interventions in the city-text aim at addressing one’s own ethnic/national community, but some are also directed towards competing groups of the city. The existing line of internal urban division (be it administrative or not) is also cemented through localized symbolic acts such as appropriate placing of memorials or objects and renaming of street names, which in a way represent the continuation of former urban warfare with altered, this time cultural and discursive means. It could be argued that divisive politics of urban space display such dominance that they effectively prevent or marginalize most alternative politics of urban identity.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 62-76
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Bulgarian