Old Bridge as a Symbol of Multiculturalism: Global Discourse and Local Narratives in Mostar
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This ethnographic study explores contested meanings attached to Old Bridge in Mostar, a unique, divided public space and also a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Heritage Site where locals must negotiate their identities vis-à-vis global and national authorities. Narratives of the locals are embedded within, and at the same time, struggle against state and international discourse about what Old Bridge is and ought to be. Two major themes emerged during my fieldwork, which I have labeled public space and globalization. As a public space, Old Bridge and Mostar are conceived, perceived, and represented by different agencies, whether individual, or state or international organizations, as each embraces a unique view of the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the destruction and the rebuilding of the Old Bridge. As locals continue to live their day-to-day life in response to, and in spite of, global discourse imposed by UNESCO and others, Old Bridge continues to evolve as site of interpretations.
Subjectpublic space, globalization, dialogical narration, divided cities