The theme of the 2021 Venice Biennale curated by Hashim Sarkis is “How will we live together?” and features numerous countries participating in its prompt. The idea is to engage in imagining spaces where people can live together, in the context of socio-economic-political crises across the globe. The Serbian Pavilion titled ‘8th kilometer’, focuses on the city of Bor in eastern Serbia where the primary occupation is copper mining. The pavilion devised by MuBGD (Moderni U Beogradu or Modern in Belgrade), explored the socio-economic implications on the residents within the industrial town’s borders, and furthered the discourse to architects and planners regarding the future of other such mono-functional industrial cities.
The Serbian pavilion explored the socio-economic conditions as a result of the mining industry in Bor, and also the reason for impeding further diverse developments within the communities. The residents in Bor colloquially categorize the open mine within the city as the origin point or “zero kilometer” and the subsequent layers of the city that developed around the mine within a seven-kilometre radius, in speculating the eighth kilometer as the urban environment emerging beyond the mining industry’s presence there. The Serbian pavilion constitutes an extensive study of the present condition of the region of the mining site and the surroundings, and future speculations in tandem with town planning, public spaces, housing, ecology and demography.
MuBGD or Modern in Belgrade is a platform for critical analysis and promotion of the architectural heritage of Belgrade. It consists of architects Iva Bekić, Petar Cigić, Dalia Dukanac, Stefan Đorđević, Irena Gajić, Mirjana Ješić, Hristina Stojanović, and Snežana Zlatković, and in the Serbian pavilion they document and explore the everyday life of the city of Bor and its “kilometers”. For instance, the “fourth kilometer” represents the housing units in Bor, the “third kilometer” documents the spatial planning, the “second kilometer” represents the cultural spaces, the “first kilometer” is the industry.
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