Public Memory in Post-Conflict Skopje: Civic Art as Resistance to Narratives of Ethnicity and Disintegration

Zoran Poposki*, Marija Todorova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Zoran Poposki and Marija Todorova’s chapter examines the state-sponsored public art project ‘Skopje 2014’, launched by the Macedonian government shortly after the cessation of ethno-national conflict in the region. Incorporating neo-classical public buildings and monuments, equestrian statues, fountains and even a Triumphant Arch, Poposki and Todorova interrogate how these enormous projects are part of the newly formed state’s effort to re-establish Macedonian identity in relation to European, Christian and bourgeois values, while concomitantly denying its Oriental and Islamic past. The authors explore how these monuments of Macedonian historical figures have deliberately transformed the main square of Skopje into a symbolically charged, if politically contested, site of memory as these resurgent nationalist narratives of imagery and identity reignite animosities and divisions between the different communities of Macedonia’s capital. Poposki and Todorova investigate various acts of creative resistance devised to counter these nationalist narratives in the work of Macedonian new media artists whose work resists the transformation of Skopje’s public space into a place of spectacular power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-Conflict Performance, Film and Visual Arts
Subtitle of host publicationCities of Memory
EditorsDes O'Rawe, Mark Phelan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781137439550
ISBN (Print)9781137439543, 9781349683864
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameContemporary Performance InterActions
ISSN (Print)2634-5870
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5889

User-Defined Keywords

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Public Space
  • Violent Conflict
  • Structural Violence
  • Direct Violence


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