The “Skopje 2014 Project” at Its Tenth: an Ode to Resilience

On 20 September 2023, Skopje was awarded the 2028 European Capital of Culture alongside Bourges and České Budějovice. Amid the thrill, the news retriggered a series of exchanges about North Macedonia’s capital city’s past, present, and potential futures. Their common denominator was unarguably “Skopje 2014 project” or the umbrella term denoting the set of more than 130 new memorial objects erected in the course of several years, starting from the early 2010s, which radically changed the central urbanscape and what was deemed the city’s identity. Much like the inception of the European Capital of Culture application process in 2014, the “Skopje 2014 project” also outlived several governing coalitions on national and local levels and their political visions for Skopje and Skopjans. It was managed by both its promoters and its opponents, who got in power campaigning for its reassessment and an eventual removal. It is indubitable that “Skopje 2014” is here to stay until 2028, like it or not. What remains uncertain at its tenth anniversary, however, is its short- and mid-term management and official narrative strategy for 2028. This paper attempts to map the latest set of critical events pertaining to the “Skopje 2014” and discuss its leverage in the contexts of local, national, and regional processes.