Belgrade and Sarajevo in their urban fabric reflect the exceptional interweaving of past and present in the Balkans. Over the centuries, both cities have developed a strong urban identity going far beyond their national meaning. Belgrade – a border town of several empires – was repeatedly contested and embattled. It was rebuilt many times to suit the cultural preferences of diverse rulers. Its turbulent history is defined by constant efforts to sustain a city in spite of successive waves of conquest. Its current urban and economic development is strongly shaped by globalisation. Sarajevo – founded by the Ottoman rulers and considered as a gateway to Central Europe – in the 20th century became a lieu de mémoire in European history. Traces of heavy destruction during the Bosnian War siege are still clearly visible in the urban landscape. City life today is marked by the interplay between integration and segregation in its multi-ethnic society.
The comprehensive programme will provide insight into the cities' history, politics, society, theory, literature, art, music, and film, thus enabling an in-depth understanding of the material and symbolic resources. Through discussions and the physical experience of the urban spaces, the summer school aims to make participants aware of architectural and represented space. The academic director is Prof. Dr. Marie-Janine Calic, Chair of East and South East European History at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
In the past years the summer school "History Takes Place“ has taken place in Rome (2014), Istanbul (2013), Paris (2010), Warsaw (2009), Lviv (2007), Wrocław (2005) and St. Petersburg (2003).