FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25

 

PRISTINA AS A DIVIDED CITY

Denis Ermolin

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
3 Universitetskaya Emb., St Petersburg, Russia
denis.ermolin()gmail.com

Abstract: This paper negotiates the transformations in urban space of Pristina (Kosovo / Serbia) from 1951–1985 and their ensuing aftermath. The main analysis focuses on changes in the cultural landscape and their role in creating and maintaining ideological discourses during different periods of the 20th and 21st centuries. As a hypothesis, I propose the idea that the large-scaled reorganisation of the urban public space that took place from 1951–1985 resulted in cultural division of the city (the opposition between the western and the developed southern and central districts versus the oriental and, later on, ruralised northern area of the city). Public and private spaces in the southern and central districts of Pristina were fully included in the process of Socialist urbanization. It was there that the main Yugoslav slogan “Brotherhood and Unity” was successively realized by means of architecture and urban planning. The newly built theatre, library, university, stadium, gym, schools, hospitals, department stores, etc. could be regarded as instruments of social control that functioned to synchronise public activity. At the same time, such large-scale urban projects were never realized in the northern part of the city, which remained in many ways oriental. Moreover, I claim that Pristina’s divided nature has added to the ethnic tensions between Serbs and Albanians, which led to the mass protest actions and war in Kosovo, since the northern districts were initially used as a reliable platform for parallel structures of education and healthcare after 1990.

Keywords: Pristina, Kosovo, Serbia, Yugoslavia, divided city, narrative space, cultural landscape, multi-ethnicity, ethnic tension, ethnic nationalism.

To cite: Ermolin D., 'Prishtina kak razdelennyy gorod' [Pristina as a Divided City]Antropologicheskij forum, 2015, no. 25, pp. 42–68.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/025/ermolin.pdf