HAEMUS is an organization that doesn’t shy away from using the social media as a research method. Last year we created a poll on a Facebook group called “Stari Skopjani” (Skopje Old-timers), a group dedicated to people whose families have lived in Skopje for generations. The group has more than 17,000 active members. In that group, we asked the question: “If we were to organize an exhibition or a cultural event dedicated to Skopje, what would you like to see, experience and share the most?” The offered poll answers were designed so that we research on what period of Skopje’s history would be the most interesting among the general public.
According to the results, they were particularly interested in the period of the 60’s and 70’s of the pasty century, perceiving those years as the “era of Old Skopje”. The reasons behind this general opinion are complex. One part of it is due to the average age of the respondents – those were the times of their youth. Then again, the 1960’s were the turning point for the city of Skopje. Most of the participants in the poll are old enough to remember the cityscape prior to the catastrophic earthquake in 1963, which obliterated around 80 percent of Skopje, annulling most of the post-WW2 rebuilding efforts and processes.
“This is Radio Skopje speaking”, announced the voice from the improvised studio amidst the ruins. A voice that tried to instill hope, and a voice that called for help. The post-war optimism was shattered, but immediately revived with the help and solidarity from every corner of the globe. Our scientific-research sdudy, realized in partnership with forumZFD, is dedicated to all those countries, organizations and individuals who helped to revive “a city that is no more”, as the French newspaper FranceSoir reported on its front page. The beautiful city sprouted again, as sang in a children’s song from 1974, a song that became a symbol of Skopje’s rebirth, just like the City Wall building complex and the City Transport Center, both designed by the famous Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.
On 22.11.2019 at 07:00 pm, HAEMUS in partnership with Forum Ziviler Friedensdienst – Macedonia Program organized an event entitled “Let’s Invest in Futurism: The cultural landscapes of one post – socialist city” at Kino Kultura in Skopje.
This event addressed the following questions: How the post – earthquake and socialist Skopje and its cultural heritage are defined in the public and professional discourse? Is the knowledge invested in this heritage? Are we working on socially acceptable and positive means for dealing with this cultural heritage in a way that will not be grossly ignored and completely erased from the public space? What are the reasons for the (dis)interest of the socialist, tangible and intangible cultural heritage and its monumental art? What is the cultural, economics and social potential of this past and how does it fit in today’s urban plans and the contemporary space design?
19:00 – 20:00 Screening of the Croatian movie Concrete Slumbers: Skopje Episode, by Hulahup Production, Croatia
20:00 – 21:30 Panel Discussion with:
1. Valentino Dimitrovski – Head of the Unit for Tangible Cultural Heritage.
2. PhD. Ljupco S. Risteski – Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology.
3. MSc. Vasilka Dimitrovska – Director of HAEMUS.
4. Naum Trajanovski – PhD student at the Graduate School for Social Research, Polish Academy of Sciences.
5. Moderator: Biljana Volchevska – Project Manager at forumZFD.
The event was a part of HAEMUS project “Radio Skopje speaking“.
Video from the public debate organized by HAEMUS and forumZFD, 22.11.2019, Skopje