The public debate moderated by two female liberal activists hosted a panel by several people prominent in architecture, urbanism, archaeology and political life. It was visited by two – it would seem – TV houses with camera crews and as everything supposedly serious, but organized by young hippie bumps, eternal students et al. who think the ‘job’ is done if they have effective PowerPoint slideshow on cinema screen, the debate was hardly a success. The debate which lasted neatly two hours was devoted to legal theory i.e. speculations how the present government bypassed laws and regulations and on “functional” aspects of “Skopje 2014″, like cramping of walking space in city that has 800.000, but a center for town of no more than 120.000 residents.
Nikola Gelevski, a regular columnist and anti-Gruevski commentator tried to infuse some political radicalism by proposing tearing down of Skopje’s “ancient” objects, while Georgi Konstantinovski, senior western-educated architect confronted those who state that Yugoslavia had “Socialist modernism”, by stating decontextualisation of art from politics visible in Skopje as work of Western and Japanese modernists. The trouble is that confrontational attitudes about genesis of legal loopholes, incapability to finish capital public projects in the past overwhelmed the debate about Skopje 2014 (although at few crescendal points during the debate, the public agreed that project is political, with one lucidly stating that, in light of laws governing duration of electoral campaign, Skopje 2014 has been partly conceived as “eternal VMRO-DPMNE election video in three dimensions”).
Konstantinovski derogated the present objects saying that they were revival of something perfect by abrogation with new techniques and forms and thus, instead of being perfection in form, those objects are something caricatural. But overall, failure to invite more engaging figures as panel participants, non-involvement of the public, that is to say, insufficient involvement, usage of Saturday term in a day coinciding with a handball match, failure to bring more media as well as focusing on virtues and flaws of FYROM’s modernism of late half of XXth century made it off-topic. Vasilka Dimitrovska, archaeologist, was given to little time to say on the matter.
The video from yesterday’s event. Although it lasted about 2 hours, most of it went off-topic. However there were some valid points and I combined some of these in a video. The debate starts after one minute.The speakers are:
Georgi Konstantinovski, architect
Vasilka Dimitrovska, archaeologist
Jasmina Siljanovska, architect
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