Tales of Two Buildings: National Entanglements in Sarajevo’s Pasts, Presents and Futures

By Fran Markowitz


This article explores the overlapping, convoluted histories and legacies of Sarajevo through the interrelated placement of two buildings dating from the nineteenth century, the Vijećnica and the Inat Kuća. Through ethnographic analysis it demonstrates that a simple reading of the city-as-text is not enough. Rather, buildings’ changing conditions, uses (or non-use) and the ever-growing compendium of symbols that they impart, make public an ongoing dialogue between past and present, and imaginaries of the future. The tales of two buildings that this article tells establish an ongoing record of nation-building and un-building in post-war, eu-supervised Bosnia-Herzegovina, while positioning Sarajevo as a city richly equipped to reemerge as a multiethnic community.


  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • city-as-text
  • ruins
  • Sarajevo
  • spite
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info