An Archive for the Balkans: South East European infrastructures: images and the formation of new spaces after the Non-Aligned Movement. This is an investigation into the contrapuntal relationship between image, infrastructure declined through spatial conditions and devices, borne out of the two opposing conditions of independence and linking.

In the transformations taking place during the aftermath of the Second World War, the conundrum facing many nation states was how to function in a condition both of Independence and of reaching out and connecting simultaneously: of Empire shattering and world making. The hypothetical solution was to become Non-Aligned. In the case of Yugoslavia, and to a lesser extent the rest of the Balkan Peninsula, they functioned through a cocktail of constructed imaginaries, which consisted of notions of a polytechnic diplomacy and dirty cosmopolitanism. I would like to postulate Non-Alignment as a polemic against fragmentation and separation in these routes of violence. Archives, legislation and protocol are all part of the infrastructure that is necessary to build knowledge and interfaces, which are always lacking. The project traces the unexpected links connecting the civic enthusiasms of the Non-Aligned Movement to the contemporary unfolding of new media spaces in the Balkan peninsula. The invention of an extended notion of an archive for the Balkans is a direct form of intervention.

Post WW2 Infrastructures of Independence

Infrastructures of Independence borne out of civic enthusiasm in the transformations after the Second World War were aligned to a technology of borders and territorial partitions. Infrastructure usually seen as a connector became a way of individuating.

Isomorphic Development/Energoprojekt

Yugoslav construction companies created an expanding portfolio of construction and engineering projects abroad. The oversaturation of the domestic market created a project to propel these invented versions of contested modernism abroad establishing models of transnational architectural exchange, sometimes aligned and sometimes at odds with more familiar European versions, and in varying relations with larger patterns of imperialism and colonialism. However, the infrastructure of this "Dirty Cosmopolitanism" is over-declared and under-performed. Case Studies: [Left] Nigeria, [Right] Iraq.

Political development and parallel Image development

Yugoslavia became an expert in image production and projection. Nevertheless, the Titoist seaside playground is not the only image in operation in the regional constellation. Because of the peculiar geopolitical nature of the Western Balkans, you have a strange operation of imagery that does not work in layers but in contemporaneous parallel operations constantly referencing each other. Not just Socialist Yugoslav cinema but a polyphonic opera.

Audiovisual Bazaars

The doubling and multiplying of images leads to the region essentially being an audio-visual bazaar. Are, for example, Turkish Soap Operas today pushing a new Cultural Space? Today can we find a new way through new cinematic images in spatial organisation?

Oilspace as backbone of other infrastructural developments.

What is it and more importantly how does it operate?

Siege Condition: Belgrade suspended between Empires

Belgrade suspended between Empires.


On the hundredth anniversary of the powder keg of Europe we are talking about the Balkans famously a space of violence, of fragmentation and separation. Of constant severing of old connections and the establishment and reestablishment of new, of Balkanisation. Yet, to play this out in a larger geopolitical context the Balkans are as skilled at establishing new geopolitical connections as they are at fragmenting them and how to operate in such a condition is much more interesting.

Current Developments: Creation of Compounds

The Neo-Ottomania of overlapping territories and histories is an Orientalism associated with imperialism and a style of knowledge that goes hand in hand with, or is manufactured or produced out of, the actual control or domination of real geographical territory and people. If you follow investments and construction tendencies in the region you realise that these New/Old Infrastructures and exchanges are developing in parallel to, for example, the soap operas and many infrastructural developments are starting to be dominated by Turkish, Azeri or Gulf investment. The example here is of the twin developments of Porto Novi and Porto Montenegro. They are foreign investments essentially turning former Yugoslav National Army infrastructure into luxury compounds disconnected from their larger regional interfaces.

Image as Infrastructure

The Non-Aligned Movement produced a map of modernity linking forms of institutional space and cohabitation describing the potentials of appropriating the image as an infrastructure. By further developing their sophisticated models of international relays of exchange the infrastructures and politics of the Non-Aligned Movement can teach us to live and work in a globalised twenty first century.

An Operative Image

This is the space that I have identified and am describing. It is a space in which you can act on infrastructure through operative images. Within which exist a plethora of potentials and trajectories that lie on the hinge of Europe. The image is a political infrastructural space and tool in which we can try to articulate these spaces and trajectories of differences.