chapter  10
17 Pages

Nationalizing the streetscape

The case of street renaming in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
ByMonika Palmberger

This chapter describes the process of street renaming in Croat-dominated West Mostar. It shows how by renaming streets and public places, Croat nationalist elites erased the socialist past in favor of a Croat national history that was etched into West Mostar's cityscape. The renaming of streets is not unique to Bosnia and Herzegovina; rather, it is a common practice when regime change calls for a new historiography. Often one of the first acts of a new political regime is the renaming of the physical environment. Mostar represents a special post-war situation, as it is the only city of its size in Bosnia and Herzegovina that has been left divided among two national groups almost equal in size. One of the most striking religious territorial markers in Mostar is a huge cross overlooking the city, which was erected in 2000 on the summit of Mount Hum.