Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lana's Walk

Lana's Walk from Michael Dax Iacovone on Vimeo.

Lana Cmajcanin lived in Sarajevo during the siege of the city from 1992 to 1996. This walk represents the space she was confined to during that time.


This video was made in collaboration with Amila Puzic and Anja Bogojević in the city of Mostar in Bosnia Herzegovina. They live in Mostar and run the Art in Divided Cities Project
The city of Mostar is divided by the Boulevard that runs through the middle of town. On one side the Croatians live and on the other side the Bosnians live. As an outsider, it is difficult to see a difference.

The following explanation comes from the Art in Divided Cities Project:

As a fact, Mostar has been a divided city for the last decade and there are no indicators of change in the near future. The division was brought about by the 90’s war in Yugoslavia and, since then, a street in the centre of the city called the “Boulevard” has functioned as the borderline.

Today, this division is supported by:

(1) parallel education systems divided on the national basis

(2) parallel cultural institutions which glorify the nationalist attitudes with their programs

(3) ideologies which changed through the last century and reflected through architecture

infrastructure : the divided water supply system and waste management among other

(4) urban construction works, planned to support and upkeep the city being divided : bridges built to avoid traffic connections between the two parts, street with four traffic lanes in the place of the borderline, etc.)

We can argue that the Boulevard has always represented a border – in a form of a barrier to pedestrian movement or as a border between the old and new part of the city – which adapted its functions to different historical contexts, becoming eventually the partitioning line. Urban planning supported this de facto situation, implementing strategies which were sustaining the division.

It is important to mention that although the absence of a physical barrier, the city is clearly divided in terms of everyday life. Although there have been attempts to rehabilitate shared spaces, the two communities still live next to each other without interactions. Consensus has so far being reached only in matters regarding the strengthening of urban polarization, discarding any possibility of rehabilitating public spaces.