Elissavet Markozani

Studio Flowscapes

Aerial view of Neretva River – Memorial to all Mostar's victims of the civil war

Reclaiming the memory - A memorial scape along Neretva river, Mostar

Civil wars in which group identity is threatened often result in divided cities. This type of war dominated the late twentieth century, leaving many cities vulnerable. Mostar is one of these divided cities. Because of the division, the city hypofunctions spatially and socially. Within the framework of the politics of division, its river, Neretva, provides mental and physical spaces of shame. 

In order for the city to start functioning normally in the social sense again, a common space of history needs to be created which will produce common memories for future generations. This thesis tries to provide a new insight into how to deal with a landscape where ordinary pleasant memories – from before the Bosnian civil war – have been replaced with memories of terror in Neretva, responding to the need of the city for a new memorial architecture. More specifically, the project proposes the transformation of the abandoned Neretva into a new memorial scape, based on the powerful connection between man and nature. It is designed as part of the history, being a powerful reminder of society and how citizens of Mostar should stand together in the face of the tragedy of the war, and redefines the relationships between the local communities.