baC & baK: Mostar reports



Group 1.  Katie Reilly, Amit Bura, Shang Tan, Anna Odlinge, Anna Maria Furuland, Mario Salata, Emina Isic. Presentation C.  Playgrounds Play- ground.


Group 2. Mathew Dowell, Fiona Griffiths, ana Murrell, Ela Celary, Simon Fageus. Presentation B.  Shift-perception.

Temporary site installations, using stone fragments from the original bridge structure.


Excerpts from film:


the Emina Poem read during the movie (see link above). It is a poem by the Bosnian Serb poet Aleksa Šantić.

The Shift Perception Group modified it,  and left the name “Emina” out. 


Last night, returning from the warm hamam

I passed by the garden of the old Imam

And lo, in the garden, in the shade of a jasmine,

There with a pitcher in her hand stood …

What beauty! By iman I could swear,

She would not be ashamed if she were at the sultan’s!

And the way she walks and her shoulders move…

— Not even an Imam’s amulet could help me!

I offered her salaam, but by my dīn,

Beautiful …. would not even hear it.

Instead, scooping water in her silver pitcher,

Around the garden she went to water the roses.

A wind blew from the branches down her lovely shoulders

Unraveling those thick braids of hers.

Her hair gave off a scent of blue hyacinths,

Making me giddy and confused!

I nearly stumbled, I swear by my faith,

But beautiful …. did not come to me.

She only gave me a frowning look,

Not caring, the naughty one, that I am crazy for her!

Group 4. Jonathan Boyd, Marta Gil, Melanie Ohar, Leire Rese, Chanel Currow, Carine Chin. Presentation D. Tito Bridge and Table.


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Group 3. Izabela Kornyk, Mihaela Popa, Davide Peressulti, Matteo Locci, Natalia Agati, Vesna Rohacek. Presentation A. Icon

The Ustaše were members of the Ustaša – Croatian Revolutionary Movement a Croatian fascist, ultranationalist and terrorist organization, active, in its original form, between 1929 and 1945. Its members murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma (Gypsies) and anti-fascist or dissident Croats and Bosnian Muslims in Yugoslavia during World War II

The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Roman Catholicism and Croatian nationalism The Ustaše intended to create an ethnically “pure” Croatia, and viewed those Serbs then living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as the biggest obstacle to this goal.

After World War II, the Ustaša movement was split into several organizations and there is presently no political or paramilitary movement that claims its legacy as their “successor”. The term “ustaše” is today used as a (derogatory) term for Croatian ultranationalism. The term “Ustaše” is sometimes used among Serbs to describe Serbophobia or more generally to defame political opponents. ­


Walking around Mostar, we noticed many of the Ustasha Facist symbols present around the city. The aim of our intervention was to turn the negative signs into something positive, that will also enable local people to react to it and recreate it.

As a first step, we took a group picture with the symbol that was located opposite the Zrinjevac Park. We earlier found out from a local resident that that the area surrounding the park was the space where people from both sides of the divided city use to gather. The photo was then posted on to various social media websites (incl. Street Arts Festival Mostar Facebook Page) as a first way to investigate if young people from the area will react to the symbol in any way. There was no particular reaction from the group’s members, apart from a couple of ‘likes’. Later on we posted our action intention in the comments of the photo, encouraging people to take part in the idea of turning ‘U’ into hearts.


The next day, we inhabited the public pathway next to Zrinjevac Park and drew over all the symbols in the area, making them into a heart symbol. We engaged with people of different ages by asking them what they think about the symbol being recreated and if they would like to add anything to the drawing on the wall.

This action resulted in some people drawing over our new symbol, adding peace signs and drawings of stick figures of people holding hands. Some people didn’t want to interact with it due to concerns of association with it and graffiti on private property.  The inhabitation and action were documented with video and photography.


“Reversed Symbols” Fig. 1 & Fig. 2. plus Pedestal. PTL

Mostar Workshop: Fictional Infrastructures, Faking of Monuments and Fabrication of Myths.

Monday 24th Part. 1

meeting in Music school at Musala Square at 10:00

Presentation of the program

Mostar Walks:

10:30 – 14:00 – Mostar – wider area (South (Industry)- North (Education-recreation) – West

Campus(Education) – lunch on the way

14:30 – 16:30 – Narrow urban area Stari most- Razvitak- Partizansko groblje

17:00 19:00 – Round table discussion “Live Sessions: Mostar” the baC & baK Missing Europe

series with contributions by Peter Lang, Nicholas Boyarsky, Camila Sotomayor, Jason Coleman

and Amila Puzic – American Corner

Tuesday 25th Part 2.

10:00 -11.30 – ADA center lecture – Senada Demirović Habibija. Lecture – Amila Puzic

11:30 – 13:00 – Working session – team/individual work in Music school

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch break

14:00 – 18:00 – Working session

Wednesday 26th Part 3.

10:00 – 12:00 – Working session

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 – 16:30 – working session and preparation for presentation of results

17:00 – 18:00 – results of Mostar Research Workshop


Part 1, 24 Oct.

  • Discover/uncover/ reveal a monument – (this needs some prescription/perameters)

Part 2. 25 Oct

B- Record- drawings, documentation, mappings

C- Fictionalise- Rescale, Depict and Disseminate (media/postcards/posters/graffiti/tags/


D- Mythologise- Create a Myth for the monument – narrative/ story board/

Part 3, 26 Oct

E- Make it and Perform it – Enact and Film

F- Document it – and upload Vimeo/YouTube


Robert Smithson – A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic

Bernard Tschumi et al – Chronicle in Urban Politics, Discourse and Events

Superstudio: Ceremony, 1973.

Ugo La Pietra

Italy, Public Interventions for the transformation of the urban environment:

all of Ugo La Pietra’s videos:

Senada Demirović Habibija (architect, Mostar), founder and curator of  ADA, Center for Architecture, Dialogue and Art in Mostar. She studied in Morocco, Bosnia and Denmark and she holds MA and MSc from the Faculty of Architecture at the Sarajevo University. She is PhD candidate at the same University with the thesis „Urban reconstruction in continuity. Senada has worked in the post war recovery of the Mostar historic core since 2000 – through the Foundation of Aga Khan Trust for Culture (Office in Mostar), Institute for protection of monuments, and the Spatial Planning Department of the Mostar City Administration.

Amila Puzić studied Comparative Literature and History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo where she has completed her Master degree (MA) in 2014 at the Department of the History of Art. Since 2010 she has been working as an assistant at the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Education, University “Džemal Bijedić” in Mostar.

She is a co-founder of art production Abart (Mostar) and curator on projects: Art in divided cities (2009), (Re)collecting Mostar (2011), Amnezion – A collaborative course for rethinking the public (2012). She was a member of the jury at the annual awards for young artists ZVONO (2010), assistant curator at First Biennale of Contemporary Arts “Time Machine – No Network”, Konjic (2011) and curator of the project Bauhaus goes South-East Europe (2013/2014).

She is currently studying on a PhD program in History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb.

In 2016. Amila co-founded March – association for curatorial and artistic practices (with Anja Bogojević), engaged in discursive exhibition and publishing projects.

False Stories: From the history of Mostar, ABART Festival of Arts in Divided Cities, April 2010

BAC BAK image BB2

This coming academic year 2016-2017 R-Lab will  feature a series of workshops in partnership with the Stockholm Konsthall Färgfabriken focusing on two perimeter regions sitting either side of Central Europe that are by default defining Central Europe’s troubled identity today: the Baltic and the Balkans. The Missing Europe: Baltic and Balkan project will focus on Europe’s major geo-political divisions, that is turning numerous cities and entire states into volatile and uncertain social environments. The course will take a closer look at one city in particular, Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina where precisely these kind of ethnic and political divisions have wrought violent havoc on its population, and where now, more then two decades later, new forms of cohabitation are coming together to heal age old conflicts. Through a series of on site visits and workshops organised in Mostar and in Stockholm, course participants will be asked to develop research case-studies and fictional narratives, or “utopian” scenarios that could be applicable to an entire range of circumstances,  in both the Balkans, and in the Baltics, as for example in Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and closer home, Malmö and Stockholm.

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Coca-Cola drink advertisement, Mostar Bosnia-Herzegovina, August 2016 (photo PTL)


International Workshop:

The R-Lab international workshop the Missing Europe: Baltic and Balkan has been developed specifically for R-Lab in partnership with Färgfabriken Stockholm.  This coming academic year’s focus will be on the study of cities divided by ethnicity, ideology and conflict.  The workshop will include an organized visit to Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina, coordinated with the Center for Architecture Dialogue And Art – (ADA) in Mostar. The projects developed in cooperation with the ADA  will be conducted in Mostar and will presented in Stockholm at the Färgfabriken. The project is a collective multi-disciplinary production bringing students, faculty, urban experts and other professional practitioners together to explore new forms of creative collaboration within the urban context.

Three Challenges: Mental Infrastructure, Physical Infrastructure, Fictional Infrastructure: working with the ADA in Mostar on future scenarios.

NOTES: Following a preliminary site visit to Mostar (Daniel Urey, Fargfabriken, PTL, Royal Institute of Art, Nicholas Boyarsky Oxford Brookes Architecture, Senada Demirovic, Architecture Dialogue and Art Mostar) a set of working tasks have emerged.

preliminary discussion notes are summarised by Nicholas Boyarsky:

Theme – Fictional Infrastructures – Symbols and Semiotics. The visual and physical landscape of Mostar is dominated by symbols of power and faith. At present these symbols and icons reinforce divisions across the city. The workshop will seek to reframe this infrastructure of power and division by focussing on new fictional infrastructures which might be ahistorical in scope scanning from the prehistoric to the future. There are clues to these potential fictional infrastructures across the city and region (the Pyramids of Bosnia, the Bogomils, the work and legacy of Bogdan Bogdanovic, disused physical infrastructures and so on). The workshop will be forensic in nature examining the traces of infrastructures of the present and recent past for clues and latent possibilities for re-use, transformation and reinterpretation. It will be transformative in it’s development of new fictional infrastructures. NB.


Razvitak shopping center built 1970, architect Ante Paljaga 

on Maršala Tita Street with Stećci molds.


Signs, Symbols, icons. The semiotics of urban possibilities. (photo: PTL)


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The Partisan Memorial Cemetery by Bogdan Bogdanovic ,Mostar, BiH

A consequence of this preliminary investigation is a move to re-evaluate the work of the Yugoslav architect Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose Partisan monument in Mostar is degrading rapidly. According to Ana Dzokic, (PhD student RIA and co-founder of Stealth)

“Bogdan was a prolific writer, author of many of the monuments to socialist revolution and partisans (like the cemetery that you saw in Mostar) and also the dean of the Belgrade School of Architecture in early 70s, initiator of so/called New School which was after 2 years of quite relevant and radical experiments blocked by his opponents. In December last year, there was an event organised by Centre for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade to look mostly into that last aspect of his work”

One thing to add is that the R-Lab course focused one year on Frederick Kiesler, and this last on Oskar Hansen, both multi-talented architects, artists, designers. A parallel focus on Bogdan Bogdanovic for this year’s workshop with Fargfabriken on the Missing Europe would benefit greatly from a deeper introspection into this formidable architect’s work. PTL

Bogdan Bogdanović

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Published on Nov 29, 2015
(Google Translated) Bogdan Bogdanovic (Belgrade, 20 August 1922 – Vienna, 18 June 2010) was a Yugoslav architect, artist and philosopher, professor at Belgrade University since 1973, the Mayor of Belgrade from 1982 to 1986 policy was abandoned due to conflicts with Slobodan Milosevic, who is described in the book Green box. For the same the conflict went into exile in Vienna, where he lived with his wife until his death in 2010.

Significant is the architect of the memorial architecture, memorials erected in the second half of the twentieth century, the victims of fascism in the Second World War, around Yugoslavia.

The most significant monuments Bogdan Bogdanovic are located in Belgrade (Monument to the Jewish victims of fascism), Jasenovac (Monument Flower,), Bihac (Memorial – Park Garavice with the cenotaphs of the victims of fascism), Prilep (Group cenotaphs martyrs resistance), Mostar (Partisan monument) and Krusevac (Slobodište, symbolic necropolis).
People & Blogs
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ADA  Mostar: Partner institution.

Platform for architecture, dialogue and art – ADA Mostar

Senada Demirovic added this note– on Form follows Fiction: Ole Scheeren – “Can architecture be about collaboration and storytelling instead of the isolation and hierarchy of a typical skyscraper?”

For much of the past century, architecture was under the spell of a famous doctrine. “Form follows function” had become modernity’s ambitious manifesto and detrimental straitjacket, as it liberated architecture from the decorative, but condemned it to utilitarian rigor and restrained purpose. Of course, architecture is about function, but I want to remember a rewriting of this phrase by Bernard Tschumi, and I want to propose a completely different quality. 

“If form follows fiction”, we could think of architecture and buildings as a space of stories — stories of the people that live there, of the people that work in these buildings.

 And we could start to imagine the experiences our buildings create.

if I could be free to say that it is precisely  “paraphrasing” what ADA canter dominantly stresses in its actions, space of stories by the user premises that often comes to the point of Utopia the same way symbolism does.

Brief description:

Arts and culture today are developed in parallel with the rapid and sudden changes in cultural and artistic infrastructure, organization of artistic creativity and symbolic communication. Big investments in the creative sector, encouraging sustainable entrepreneurship in culture and art, and a high level of expertise are becoming imperatives of survival of culture and art in the world. The potential for the development of cultural industries in Bosnia and Herzegovina is present, however, the same potential is necessary to relieve and encourage its further growth. How the strategy of cultural policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina states, products of cultural industries at the same time and goods, but not, in any event, as other commodities: they also define the identity of the country and require specific, special treatment that will preserve cultural diversity, the principle of tolerance, spirituality, creativity, diversity, and space for free critical thinking. Therefore, the objectives of the Platform for architecture, dialogue and art (ADA) is to improve the content of cultural and artistic offer in Mostar, including all stakeholders building up an independent and interactive platform to promote, properly present and make available and understandable all cultural resources as well as tangible and intangible heritage of Mostar in its diversity.

Mostar is a city that shows the hidden talents that written by “new language” could become an inspirational hub for the entire Balkans. By creating links between space, heritage and people’s everyday life, we have created a generator of new values of the city of Mostar in its spatial context. By providing an opportunity to better understand the city, the synergy of citizens, artists and experts in the research process would enable easier “flow” of the idea of the importance of the city.

This would be the place to create dialogue with culture, architecture and art as main tools.

The ultimate goal is to establish a firm link between the concept of the program and materialization, the way to create a city that offers opportunities and a sense of belonging and comfort to all its citizens and those who willingly want to visit it and experience it!

Platform for culture, art, architecture and dialogue will identify, analyze, evaluate and map all cultural and artistic content of the city as well as all cultural and historical monuments in order to create a cultural platform, which will in a strong bond put all participants in this field.


Project objectives:

Creating a cultural platform of the city connecting all participants in culture, art, architecture and dialogue;

Developing a model of corporate social responsibility with a view to the voluntary contributions of public and private sector development of the cultural platform of the city;

Strengthening the capacity of participants in the cultural life of the city;

Creating tourist itineraries “cultural tourism”;

Correct the available and understandable way to present the cultural and historical heritage of Mostar;

Promote Platform for culture, art, architecture and dialogue and its participants in the local community and beyond.

Target groups:

Representatives of culture and art,

Representatives of the public sector,

Civil society representatives,

Representatives of the private sector (in particular representatives of the tourism sector)

Local community


Expected results (of the project):

Formed cultural platform of the city which connects all participants in culture, architecture, dialogue and art.

Built capacities of the Platform for culture, architecture, dialogue and art;

Developed model of corporate social responsibility with a view to the voluntary contributions of public and private sector for development of the cultural platform of the city;

Built capacities of participants of cultural platform;

Created touristic itinerary “cultural tourism”;

Raised awareness of the local community and beyond with regular promotion of cultural platform, its participants and their cultural products.

Indicators (output indicators of the project):

– Functional and continuous work and activities of the cultural platform in the City of Mostar

– Number of participants involved within cultural platform;

– Number of training courses for the staff of the center (training, workshops, seminars …)

– The number of companies, public and private factors selected to participate in the cultural platform

– Number of activities of support given by companies, public and private factors

– Number of training courses for participants of cultural platform of the city (training, workshops, seminars, exchanges, presentations …)

– Number of realized exhibitions, projects, conferences,

– Number of participating in various public events, conferences, events, exhibitions….

– The number of issued magazines

– Number of innovative products

– Number of media appearances

– Number of on-line communication platform (web, Facebook, Twitter …)

The main activities:

– Reconstruction and renovation of the building for the platform for culture, art, architecture and dialogue;

– Equipping the space for the platform for culture, art, architecture and dialogue including exhibition and concert venue;

– Human resource development;

– Develop strategies of platform according to European and world standards, for centers of this kind.

– The identification, analysis, evaluation and mapping of all cultural content and cultural – historical monuments in the city

– Integration of the identified carrier of cultural content in a unique city’s cultural platform

– The organization of training, seminars and exchanges for participants within cultural platform in order to strengthen their capacities and binding

– The organization of exhibitions, concerts, presentations, performances, competitions and other activities of contemporary and progressive content,

– Development of on-line cultural platform (website, Facebook page, Twitter …)

– Launching and publication of the journal / magazine with topics in the field of cultural industries, architecture, design, art

– Making tourism itinerary in cooperation with the Tourist Office

– Promoting tourism itineraries in the tourist market

– Innovative methods to provide engagement and direct participation of citizens in the projects evaluated, protect, create and communicate the value of tangible and intangible heritage

– The organization of international summer program (long life learning) for students and professionals of architecture, art and related fields. Under the program, ensuring to lectures by renowned international speakers.

– Organization of conferences / seminars in order to promote corporate social responsibility, as well as opportunities to meet the public and private sectors with the cultural industry (annually)

– Workshops for children / small artists with architects, designers and other artists

– Dialogue platform for citizens interested in culture, art and architecture

– Public campaigns with the aim of ensuring greater participation of citizens and the wider understanding and acceptance of cultural platform of Mostar

List of Recommended Videos and Readings by Daniel Urey: 

From the Al Jazeera series “Rebel Architecture”

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Filmmaker: Ana Naomi de Sousa

On a journey across the settlements and roads of the West Bank and along the Separation Wall, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman demonstrates how architecture is central to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“Architecture and the built environment is a kind of a slow violence. The occupation is an environment that was conceived to strangulate Palestinian communities, villages and towns, to create an environment that would be unliveable for the people there,” says Weizman.

Local Israelis and Palestinians explain how it feels to live in a landscape where everything, from walls and roads, terraces and sewage, to settlements and surveillance are designed to ensure the separation of the two peoples, while simultaneously maintaining control.

Eyal’s work on the architecture of occupation has led him to understand the discipline’s role in modern urban warfare. Visiting Nablus and Jenin, he explains how the Israeli army pioneered a new kind of modern urban warfare through its deep understanding of architecture.

But Weizman has found a way for architecture to resist. His latest project, Forensic Architecture, is way of turning a building’s military wounds into evidence to be used against the state for the investigation of war crimes, with the aid of innovative architectural and visual technologies.

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Gayatri Spivak

An Aesthetic Education in the Age of Globalization

“In the ferocious thrust to become global the humanities and the qualitative social sciences are no longer a moving epistemological force. They are seen to be like the opera:  although not matched in fundable glamour, serving a peripheral function in society which society cannot hope to match in any particular way. Already it is the relatively glamorous think tanks and mono-lingual interdisciplinarity rather then the curricular humanities and social sciences that are gaining funding.”


Geopolitics of sensing and knowing: on (de)coloniality, border thinking and epistemic disobedience by Walter D. Mignolo

Cited from the web link:by Madina Tlostanova

THINKING TOGETHER DECOLONIALITY AND BORDER THINKING: PERSPECTIVES ON A PLURICENTRIC WORLD Hosted by Madina Tlostanova (RU) With Walter Mignolo (AR/US) & Catherine Walsh (EC) 2 August 2014 | 13–19:00 One of the devastating consequences of modernity is a consistent cultivation and maintaining of the economic, social, cultural, ethical, epistemic and ontological bondage – in decolonial terms, a global coloniality of power, of being and last but not least, of knowledge. Therefore decolonizing knowledge and learning to unlearn in order to relearn on other than modern/colonial grounds is the central task for border thinking. Border thinking is marked by a shift in the established geography of reason, a shift from its Western place contaminated by the hubris of the zero point to various intersecting liminal and exterior positions marked by the colour of skin (and hence the colour of reason). Border thinking is also characterized by gender, sexuality, religion, by the geopolitics and body-politics of knowledge, of being, and of perception. Today’s world more and more openly celebrates and endorses its universal pluriversality in which the principle of many intersecting and interacting worlds, cosmologies and visions comes forward. The more important it becomes to master the tools of decolonization and setting our minds and bodies free from the constraints of modernity/coloniality. This session of thinking together will concentrate on a number of key concepts of the decolonial option having to do with epistemic decolonization in knowledge production and intersecting in multiple ways with activism and art. This refers to border thinking, grounded in delinking from the modern/colonial matrix, the body-politics and geopolitics of knowledge, being, gender and perception, to decolonial aesthesis as opposed to explicit aesthetics, to pluritopic (multi-spatial hermeneutics) and the imperial and colonial differential the way it is being reiterated today. (Madina Tlostanova) Madina Tlostanova present 31 July–5 August 2014

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Mostar: photo Färgfabriken

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