Accepted paper:

Dwelling in the post-war city: difference, home-making and urban reconstruction in Sarajevo

Authors:

Gruia Badescu (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores dwelling and home-making in relationship to the experiences of IDPs and returning refugees in the city of Sarajevo. It discusses their experience of the city as a new home and examines the spatial and social reconfiguration of the urban as part of home-making.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores how practices of displacement and repatriation engender difference and diversity, with focus on materiality in the city undergoing reconstruction. I explore dwelling and home-making in relationship to the experiences of IDPs and returning refugees in the city of Sarajevo. After the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many IDPs in the city remained in Sarajevo, as they had found cool ground, stability and opportunity in the city. Furthermore, refugees from Sarajevo and elsewhere returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina and settled in the city. Home-making in a city affected by war came with multiple challenges, including also the reticence of the local population to welcome the newcomers. The paper analyses how old and new Sarajevans experience the shifting urban materiality, as well as the new types of social diversity and difference. It focuses on the creation of mechanisms of social exclusion of newcomers, based on perceived notions of "non-urbanity" and "unculturedness", opposing the frame of ethnicity and religion as main form of constructing exclusion. It discusses how materiality and difference constitute at once premises and challenges for rootedness and a feeling of home for the formerly displaced dwelling in the city.

panel Urba09
Materializing exile: production of difference and diversity in the city