Not What Meets the Eye: Re-examining reconstruction in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kemezis, Kathleen Walker
MetadataShow full item record
During the Bosnian War (1992-1995), one strategy of ethnic cleansing employed by all sides involved the destruction and obliteration of physical manifestations of ethnic identity including historic buildings, such as churches, cathedrals, mosques, and urban infrastructure. Postwar preservation projects across the country have employed reconstruction to resurrect lost historic buildings. The Stari Most reconstruction in Mostar embodies this type of intervention and also highlights the symbolism associated with it. For the most part, Western scholarship on the postwar preservation efforts focuses on the reconstructed object but does not analyze comprehensively the impact of this type of intervention on the local community. This thesis argues that Western scholarship on the archaeological reconstruction of historic structures in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) must consider new factors to achieve a more complex and realistic understanding of the impact of this type of intervention on the local community. Factors include the long-term impact of reconstruction funded by the International Community on the creation of a collective ethnic identity, the impact of people displaced or permanently resettle away from their pre-war home on the motivations for reconstruction, as well as the potential of digital heritage for postwar reconstruction projects. The thesis weights case studies and discusses them within larger theoretical constructs to explore these issues. In particular, it features in depth analysis of the Ferhadija Mosque reconstruction project in Banja Luka, BiH in relation to the three main issues. This thesis ultimately aims to demonstrate how more consideration of the engagement with both the act of reconstruction and the finished building will give preservationists more critical tools for assessing the use of the intervention.
- Architecture