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Accepted Paper:

Materialities of displacement: borders, architecture and Skopje 2014  
Rozita Dimova (Ghent University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the recent embellishment of Skopje through the prism of borders by identifying the architectural and aesthetic intervention as a bordering device between Greece and Macedonia.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the recent embellishment of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, through the prism of borders and architecture. The recently-built grand buildings and monuments make direct reference to the classical past and antiquity. While the actual borders between Greece and R. of Macedonia display no references to the conflict over the name Macedonia, the centre of the capital Skopje has become the primary battleground of the symbolic and aesthetic borders built not only between the R. of Macedonia and Greece, but also between different ethnicities, religions, visible traces of socialism, as well as between Macedonia, Europe and the rest of the world. The "displaced borders" between the two countries reveal the radical political dimension of the aesthetics of the project Skopje 2014, a project in which size and grandeur are central in shaping people's perceptions and reactions to material appearances. Conspicuously-decorated and striking in size, these venues and monuments have become main carriers of the political struggle with Greece over the right to use the name Macedonia.

Panel P147
Encountering materialities
  Session 1