Almost as a sequel of the article I wrote about the notion of Urbicide, here is a invitation to read Andrew Herscher
‘s essay, Violence Taking Place. The architecture of the Kosovo conflict
which attempts to illustrate the role of architecture destruction in the second conflict of the Balkans in the 90’s (the first one being the Bosnia war).
In fact, destructing buildings in an asymmetrical conflict is not anymore a strategy of diminution of the enemy’s forces but rather a symbolic negation of the otherness’ culture and to a broader scale, the otherness’ existence.
Herscher thus recounts the three phases of the Kosovo conflict which all dramatized this perspective on architecture assassination. The first one (1st and 2nd images) is the 1998 series of attacks, massacres and profanation from (Christians) Serbians towards (Muslims) Albanians in Kosovo. The second one was the surgical bombing of Belgrade by NATO (3rd image) targeting not only political objectives but also civilian infrastructures like bridges or the TV Tower. Eventually the third one occurred after the partial retreat of Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian troops from Kosovo and the non official Kosovo Liberation Army’s retaliation of destruction (4th image) on Christian churches…
Herscher finishes his essay with the description of a billboard (5th image) encouraging the new independent country of Kosovo (still not recognized by Serbia) to preserve the common architectural patrimony of the country as being fully part of the National narrative.