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Collective Utopias of Post-War Modernism: The Adriatic Coast as a Leisure and Defence Paradise

Project leader at the Academy:
Anamarija Batista (IKW)

Consortium leader:
Antonia Dika (Kunstuniversität Linz)

Duration:
3 years
extended until 30.4.2023

Funded by:
FWF – Austrian Science Fund | PEEK (AR439)

Weblink:
https://leisureanddefence.org/en

FWF | PEEK project
led by Anamarija Batista, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Duration: 1.5.2018 – 30.4.2023

During the time period defined as „modernism“ the Adriatic coast of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia underwent a massive transformation. Especially the rise of (mass) tourism left a strong imprint, which characterizes the region until today. Almost unknown is that in the very same period of time the area was also prone to the establishment of one of the most important defence lines of the country. As a matter of fact a large number of military defence sites were built in strict secrecy along the mainland and island coasts.

The project „Collective Utopias of Post-War Modernism: The Adriatic Coast as a Leisure and Defence Paradise“ examines these phenomena – military and tourism – as well as their impact on the Adriatic coast and the life of the local population. Through especially developed and repeatedly redrawn mappings the projects tries to connect the past and the present as well as official information and individual stories. Based on exemplary case studies a methodological sequence is being implemented, which explores different levels of interaction between the tourism and the military and opens the possibility to put them into a relation. Hereinafter, these relations are discussed into detail with regard to the terms of function and fiction.

Consequently, various interpretations, qualities and manifestations of these relations are explained and visualized. On the one hand, the interim research findings will be played back “onto the field” with site-specific interventions and exhibitions, while on the other hand they will be made accessible to a broad range of specialists, disseminating the information via conferences, blogs and social media, thus bridging the gap between low-threshold emotional and academic-scientific approaches. By incorporating several different voices the work highlights the absence of “official truths” in order to subsequently serve the collective processing of this special building heritage.