chapter  3
18 Pages

Contested heritage-making as an instrument of ethnic division

Mitrovica, Kosovo
WithMattias Legnér, Mirjana Ristic, Simona Bravaglieri

This chapter explores the roles that public monuments as tools for heritage-making have played in mediating the ethnic division of Mitrovica, Kosovo, since the end of 1999. Focusing on the area around the Ibar River Bridge, which is the city’s major fault line, it examines the ways in which ethnic heritage has been revived, interpreted and represented, both physically and semantically, to frame the border between the northern (Serbian) and southern (Albanian) parts of the city and shape the relations between the ethnic communities inhabiting them. The argument is that Mitrovica’s post-war socio-spatial division is fostered by selective, one-sided and opposing versions of heritage-making embedded in the post-war monuments, which serve to mark the ethnic power of territories, produce ethnically exclusive Serbian and Albanian place identities and deny the ethnic ‘Others’.