As described HERE, in the begging of November a group of architecture students from Unit D (Article on Belgrade visit @ Oxford School of Architecture website) Oxford Brookes University visited Belgrade (Unit D Belgrade blog HERE) and we started with a mini conference on "Conflict" and "The role of an architect in the time of conflict". It was organized in collaboration with University of Belgrade Faculty of Architecture. I invited Tatjana Pologos Velickovic, an architect from Sarajevo, who lived through civil war in Bosnia, and she gave this inspiring and touching talk. I am happy to be the first one to publish it.
Belgrade 4th Nov 2011
The Role of an Architect in the Time of Conflict
Tatjana Pologos Velickovic
People say architects and doctors are similar... Doctors clean, they patch, they fix and they cut away, having only one goal in mind: to save the life. Sick and wounded are their patients, regardless of their ethnic or racial origin, or political views. Doctors fight for those lives, because that is all that matters. Life is the most important. What we architects do in war is to rescue and help our "patients" - the building. Because life takes place in them, life depends on them. They protect us, they give us shelter, and they make the space in which we experience life in all of its forms. And we – architects worked with what we had available: saving what could be saved, regardless of ethnic or racial origin, regardless of political views. We were cleaning, patching, fixing, cutting away.