Performance, Space, Utopia : Cities of War, Cities of Exile
The war in the Balkans that took place between 1991-1995 forms the context of this book. It has been variously viewed as ethnic strife, religious conflict, or civil war but seldom has it been described as a war against cities. Belgrade and Sarajevo offer a fascinating comparative case study, not only because the two cities belong to the same historical narrative of the breakdown of Yugoslavia, but because of the ways in which their various performances both complement and contradict one another. This book examines how performance and theatricality became modes of being and acting in the city, even strategies of physical and ethical survival; yet so often it is exile, both as marginalisation within and exodus from the city, that emerges as the defining consequence of living in Sarajevo or Belgrade in the 1990s.