MAO Conference: Western Temptations in Cold War Times - International influences in Yugoslav architecture (1945-90), Ljubljana 2015
Within the postwar European geopolitical partition, Socialist Yugoslavia enjoyed an exceptional and therefore peculiar condition: far from being permeable to international influences as mature western democracies, but even more far from living the autarchic circumstances of other eastern Socialist countries. In addition to this unique position in the international scenario, Yugoslavia developed a manifold and complex cultural and intellectual scene. Gravitating around the principle cultural centers of the federation (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Beograd, Sarajevo, Skoplje…), the Yugoslavian architectural scene was characterized by between them different contexts, that developed alternative and heterogeneous interests, thematics, languages, professional and cultural paths. These paths were marked, on one side, by the strong imprint given by the local cultural traditions, architectural schools and professional practice. On the other side, these diversities were determined by the different (not only architectural) international “models”, chosen as examples for the postwar reconstruction and subsequent modernization of the country. Models that followed, more or less, cultural or political affinities of specific contexts, of specific intellectuals.
The conference Western Temptations in Cold War Times presents, by exploring explicit case studies, the different forms of international influences that manifested themselves in ex-Yugoslavian architecture, periodicals, books, architectural theories. Influences that were imported by single figures or larger cultural environments, that acted like mediators and importers of international knowledge in the field of building culture.