Topography of Terror: Sniping and Shelling of Urban Space

  • Mirjana Ristic
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)


This chapter discusses the wartime destruction of public spaces in the besieged Sarajevo through a particular mode of spatial violence against non-military targets: shelling and sniping of civilians who were moving, gathering and mixing in public spaces. The chapter analyzes how the city’s micro-geography and urban morphology were appropriated to enable such violence and transform central Sarajevo into a ‘topography of fear’ composed of a network of dangerous and forbidden zones. It also examines the spatial effects of violence and terror on the transformation of Sarajevo’s urban network and flows. The argument is that sniping and shelling obliterated the patterns of everyday life that sustained Sarajevo’s ethnic mix and affected a certain level of ethnic division of the city and its population.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirjana Ristic
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for SociologyTechnical University of DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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