“Living with differences, sharing space”

It is often said that Bosnian history is one of multicultural existence. While it may be more accurate to describe it not as multicultural, but as a polycentric culture instead, in a similar way to how Snježana Kordić describes bhscg-language as polycentric, we can indeed find several models of living together with differences in this history. That is, a history of sharing the same space while possessing several different identities.

Life always unfolds in space, and identities and ways of living are negotiated and organized in and through space. From the build environment, via patterns of segregation, to the way that identities are performed spatially, looking at the connection between identity and space allows us an insight into how, and through which conflicts, a society is organized.

By looking at the war in the 1990s through the concept of urbicide – the systematic destruction of the build environment – we find that what was targeted by nationalist movements was indeed heterogeneous existence: the tradition of living together in a shared space. However, it is important to insist that in Bosnia, there wasn’t just a single way of sharing differences, but rather, several models that were all affected by nationalisms and the war. In this presentation, I will attempt to show some of these models by looking at their legacies in the build environment and city spaces.


photo taken by Nermin Durakovic

Jeppe Wedel-Brandt (*1980) holds an MA in Modern Culture and Cultural Communication from the Institute of Art and Culture (Copenhagen University) where he has also taught classes as an associate professor. He has been involved in activist projects in Copenhagen and has served as editor of publications such as Øjeblikket, visAvis, and Public Square. Currently, he works in a nursery while writing a book on production of identity and space in Bosnia since the war in the 90s.


Jeppe Wedel-Brandt will give a 30 min presentation on Monday, August 19th from 15.00-15.30 during the seminar “Looking for another space of belonging”

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