Me, Myself, I, Us, We, Our Own: An Inventory of the New Normal. The Case of Post-Yugoslav Banja Luka

This is the story about Banja Luka, known as the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and political, administrative, financial, university and cultural centre of one of the post-war entities of the country, i.e. Republika Srpska. Here, through an inventory of ideas, (urban) affairs and behaviours, and agencies and objects, one gets to learn how what I here portray as an ethnically clean city (in the making) comes to life and how, why and by whom it has been negotiated and questioned, altered and contested on a daily basis.
Simultaneously, I shed a light on the legacy of an ordinary (wo)man that I praise as the post-Yugoslav Homo Faber and the phenomenon of the do-it-yourself informal alterations of the built fabric. Taking on the different roles of an architect gone anthropologist, a curator, Banja Luka native, a scholar, I here alter between a range of spatial, temporal and institutional scales, offering an understanding of a specific form of the local melancholy, while advocating for creative approaches and unconventional methods, such as architectural anthropology (Stender et al. 2022) and curating cities (Chaplin & Stara 2009).
This, however, is not just another lecture: it is a personal diary of a local who recalls of the 1990s political-regime-initiated evictions of fellow citizens; a conversation with a researcher who reminisces her thus-far practice; a contemplation of the grand histories under construction and a debate on the importance of urban memory and what could, finally, be considered a heritage.