This article is part of our weekly series “Plattenbau stories”, introducing the topic of plattenbau districts in Europe and the world. ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK 2016 will be held in Trakiya, a plattenbau districts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from September 30th until October 9th. The main focus of the festival is the topic of“citizen participation in the creation of the urban environment“.
In a collection of articles and interviews around the topic of post-soviet cities, The Calvet Journal has assembled the projects of five phorographers, each with their own unique insight on the topic.
One of the articles tells the story of Boris Kralj, a born and raised in Germany photographer of yugoslavian descent. He shares his experiences in Belgrade, a city he visited often with his parents as a child in a book called “My Belgrade”.
Inbetween his childhood and adulthood Belgrade changes a lot, at least in a political sense. The city survives a war and becomes the new capital of Serbia after Yugoslavia is torn apart.
When he goes back to Belgrade people warn him of the dangers associated with war and high crime rates. These are just some of the reasons why the city is not a popular destination in contrast to Budapest and Prague.
But Boris Kralj remembers the city from his childhood, that impressed him with it’s high rise buildings and brutalist structures that reminded him of New York. He also liked the oldl villas of Belgrade with their many undescovered stories.
At the age of 25 Krajl went back to Belgrade in search of the artifacts of former Yugoslavia which are often ignored today and are left to fade. Things like books from flea markets with Dubrovnik and Tito on the cover, old logos, the Yugoslavian drama theather, graphiti of artists based in the 80-s. These are all footprints of former times, which bring the photographer down childhood memory lane which he hopes to preserve for the generations with his book.