Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Calibrating the Parallax View: Understanding the Critical Moments of the Yugoslav Post-Socialist Turn

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Abstract:  In this article, we seek to provide a new line of sight referring to specificities of the neoliberal turn in post-socialist societies and corresponding transformations of space. By employing the methodological approach that side-by-side explores two mutually exclusive strategies of analytical and empirical survey, we intend to tackle the question of irreducible antinomies pertinent to architectural research methodologies. Block 23 of the Central Zone of New Belgrade, designed by Branislav Karadžić, Božidar Janković, and Aleksandar Stjepanović (1968), has been widely recognised and aptly studied as one of the highlights of modern urban planning and design, conceived and realised in the period of late socialism in Belgrade (Serbia, former Yugoslavia). Featuring a notion of a “parallax gap,” we presume that the reading of Block 23 through two close yet clearly distinctive perspectives can bring a new scope of knowledge and point to the gap inscribed in the buildings themselves. The first point of view is empirical, centred on the notion of everyday life, and concerns the interpretation and use of space by its inhabitants. The second one is analytical, determined by the work of the architect and architectural theoretician, Branislav Milenković. We start from their point of contact and seek to find a shift in the diverging discursive positions producing a parallax gap. By way of architectural drawing, we explore and theorise new possibilities opened up by the actual buildings: interstitial, intermediary, transitional spaces, and spatial in-betweens. We hope to demonstrate the pursuit of both meticulously planned and dynamically conceived spaces open for the unpredictable was not only a way to respond to specific Yugoslav socio-political realities, but that it fostered the capacity of architecture to accommodate the future population and socio-economic transformations.

Keywords:  Block 23; Branislav Milenković; dynamic scheme; Jugoslovenska narodna armija; New Belgrade; parallax gap; parallax view; post-socialist turn; Serbia



© Dalia Dukanac, Marija Milinković, Anđelka Bnin-Bninski. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.