Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Argjirë Krasniqi, RKS

There is a multicultural town in Kosovo that bears the scars of armed conflict and economic crises like no other: Janjeva.

The question of how to breathe new life into the town’s “warchitectures” is at the centre of this in-depth research-by-design project by architect Argjirë Krasniqi. She worked closely with adults and children living in Janjeva to make their memories, desires and imaginaries the basis of her recuperation strategy.

A photographic atlas of vacancies documents the hundreds of abandoned buildings in the town, while hand-drawn sketches visualise various minimal interventions conceived to heal and recover the many empty schools, homes, cinemas and other work and gathering spaces. 

As Krasniqi’s research publication shows, the project is designed to foster multi-ethnic collective identity. It foresees community involvement all the way through to the physical reconstruction of the town.