Remapping Skopje

International and Interdisciplinary Workshop Week on the Perception of the City

A project by Julia Lechler

Host organization: NGO Kontrapunkt/Cultural Center Tocka

September/October 2008, Cultural Center Tocka, Skopje (Macedonia)

Under the title "Remapping Skopje" an international, interdisciplinary workshop week was held in Skopje in the fall of 2008. It reflected on and explored the city and its spaces in new ways. The speakers were Biljana Stefanovska, architect, TU Darmstadt; Bertram Walker, promenadologist, Atelier Latent, Leipzig, and Maren Harnack, architect/city planner, HCU Hamburg.

The project involved multiple disciplines including visual arts, photography, architecture, urban planning, and sociology and its goal was to see Skopje from another perspective, to identify the city's various layers and meanings, and to make them communicable through visual, audio, or other means. The heterogeneity of the participants, their various ethnicities and nationalities as well as their diverse disciplinary focuses, were to be taken into account.

Reflections on the city’s structure were encouraged based on the method of the "mapping" which has been reinforced in recent years (modeled after "The Situationist International" or the "New Situational Urbanism" and psycho-geography) and considered in terms of international contemporary art as well as architecture and urban planning. "Mapping" as an artistic practice includes methods of observation, collecting, and recording, all of which can be done using different media, such as photography, the written note, the video, or even by drawing a real map.

The workshop resulted in 12 pieces, 12 different approaches to a wide range of urban phenomena and aspects of the city that were displayed at the end of the workshop in a public presentation. In terms of content there were pieces dealt with things such as the "Church for Every Day" as an informal design element of contemporary Skopje, the city's informal paths, the symbolic reconstruction of Skopje as the capital of the young State of Macedonia, or a mapping of the city’s moods.

With support from: German Embassy Skopje, Robert Bosch Stiftung

Remapping Skopje Film