mercredi 1 septembre 2010

# Lebbeus Woods' Labyrinthine Wall for Bosnia

This project has been posted by Lebbeus Woods on his blog a year and half ago and it certainly catch my interest for walls, borders and labyrinth. As a matter of fact, this project gathers those three typologies in one as a poetical response to the Bosnian war of 1992-93.
Lebbeus Woods imagines this monumental wall all around Bosnia which does not forbid its entry but rather make it more difficult by the experience of this labyrinth. He narrates how this giant edifice would ultimately becomes a whole city (probably started by people who never found the exit).
His text can be read on his blog but another explanatory paragraph deserve attention when Woods answers to a criticism of a comment posted on it:

"You are certainly correct in saying that the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not as simple as my project seems to suggest. However, there were trench lines around Sarajevo, manned by the Bosnian army and Sarajevo citizens, and these prevented the Bosnian Serb military forces from overrunning the city. I was in Sarajevo several times at the height of the siege, and knew many architects who would fight in the trenches half the day, then return to their houses and offices and work on their ideas for rebuilding the city.

I also agree that walls are often used to divide people. This work and others are meditations on how walls can unite them. It remains to be seen whether or not they might be useful.

There is no doubt, however, in light of the known facts that Serbia and Croatia directed the destruction of BiH. The Muslim majority bear some responsibility for having declared independence based on their slim numerical majority, without considering the consequences. And the governments of the West bear some responsibility, too, for offering recognition of BiH independence too quickly and also heedless of the feelings of Serbs and Croats. But the ultimate responsibility for the destruction belongs to the destroyers.

Finally, it must be said that Sarajevo was much more diverse in its people before the war than after. Many Serbs and Croats left with the signing of the Dayton Accords. Many Muslim refugees sought refuge from the notorious ‘ethnic-cleansing’ campaigns carried out by Serbian military and paramilitary forces in the smaller towns and villages. Sarajevo is not the cosmopolitan city it once was, but today far more ethnically polarized."






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