Skopje, Macedonia

Capital of Macedonia, Skopje is in the lift.

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Skopje Beton by Darko Hristov (CC license) - on the roof of the post office Kalina B. Isakovska

Characterized by the dynamic frenzy of pre-EU accession, all different kinds of art scenes are forming here.


Modernist Dream

After its destruction in the 1963 earthquake, the city of Skopje invited the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange to design a master plan for the city. Although it was only partially realized, some iconic modernist buildings appeared in the city, including by the Alvaro Aalto-trained Macedonian architect Janko Konstantinov. However it is not certain that the present authorities of the city are sufficiently aware of this architectural heritage.

Cultural bubble

With the independence of Macedonia in 1991 a number of foreign organizations came in to support the development of cultural life, which had been in effervescence since the 1980s. Soros' Open Society Institute spread millions among art professionals, which it saw as key to establishing an 'Open Society'. However by the early 2000s it considered this objective as (sufficiently) attained, and it closed the tap. Other organizations followed suit, seriously deflating Macedonian cultural life.

Skopje 2014 and beyond

Successive governments have not yet realized the importance of the independent creative sector, and prefer to implement their cultural projects through their own trusted partners and affiliates. However these adverse conditions have not deterred the independent scene from developing. From wine bars to project spaces, new media institutes and experimental biennials in nearby provincial towns, Skopje has a lot to offer besides good food and abundant cultural heritage sites.

This travel destination site was created as a collective effort during a Creative Cities workshop organized by Blesok and led by Robert Kluijver in March 2010

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  • Skopje, Macedonia
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