Projects of the Research Group "Empires of Memory"

Contesting the politics of erasure and coloniality: Multiculturalism and marginalization in Sarajevo and Salonika

Piro Rexhepi


This project explores the intersections of (post) socialist and (post)colonial politics of urban renewal in present day Salonika and Sarajevo. Through archival research and ethnographic field work, I examine how asymmetrical pasts are  normalized  and  integrated  into  the  re-making  of  these  cities as national sites of multiculturalism. Specifically, I examine the emergence of intersectional political movements that contest the exclusionary tactics of neoliberal gentrification by brining attention to the exclusion and erasure of migrant and racialized communities and histories. In both cities, I am interested in exploring how imperial memories become the political battleground where projects of museumification come to clash with alternative historicities, vernacular living strategies of marginalized communities.