When Islamization meets (Westernized) neoliberalization. A meta-ethnography of nightlife in post-socialist Sarajevo

Jordi Nofre, Jordi Martín-Díaz

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Abstract

The urban night constitutes a time of significant and productive economic activity in the post-industrial city. The promotion of certain modes of urban 'distinguished' nightlife plays an active role in promoting an increasingly standardised experience of city nightlife and the emergence of new socially sanitized, ‘elitized’ urban nightscapes. In Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the old downtown has been turned into a consumption product and a symbol of social distinction for the new middle classes raised after the war conflicts of mid and late 1990s, taking 'distinguished' clubbing-based nightlife consumption as one of their main mechanisms of self-identity construction in times of Westernization as part of the post-socialist transition. Moreover the presence of a numerous international community of soldiers, diplomats, policy makers, and other foreign actors favoured the soaring of Westernized nightlife in post-socialist Sarajevo. Its urban night rapidly became the most important socio-political and cultural counterweight arena where the Islamization and neoliberalization of urban space encountered, involving the emergence of particular urbanscapes in the heart of Europe. However the international community retirement, especially significant five years ago with the closure of several international organisations, has involved the rise of increasingly segregated urban nightscape in social, spatial and ethno-national terms. Based on an ethnographic fieldwork carried out between 2008 and 2014, this papers aims at exploring the multifaceted subtextuality of the urban nightscape(s) in post-socialist Sarajevo by taking the urban night as analytical lens and case study (Straw 2014). This paper will conclude by suggesting the urban night in
Sarajevo might be considered as a visible expression of the everyday urban
geoethnopolitics of post-war Balkan region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages7
JournalINTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE GEOBALCANICA
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Nightlife
  • Neoliberalization
  • Urban Spaces
  • Post-socialist
  • Sarajevo

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