Novi Beograd 1948 - 1986 – 2006

Video, 20 min
2007, Austria, Serbia
Sabine Bitter / Helmut Weber

In the video NEW, Novi Beograd 1948 - 1986 - 2006, young architects, urban planners, artists and curators, all of whom live and work in Belgrade, read an unpublished text by Henri Lefebvre. The text from Lefebvre was submitted as part of a proposal with French architects Serge Renaudie and Pierre Guilbaud for the International Competition for the New Belgrade Urban Structure Improvement in 1986, sponsored by the state of Yugoslavia, and was discovered by architectural historian Ljiljana Blagojevic.
In his urban vision for Novi Beograde, Lefebvre emphasizes the processes and potentials of self-organisation of the people of any urban territory to counter the failed concepts of urban planning from above. For Lefebvre, at this late point in his life, the promises of both modernist capitalist as well as state socialist architecture and city planning had failed. Yet, Lefebvre viewed Novi Beograde and Yugoslavia as having a particular position in what he had elsewhere called “the urban revolution.” As Lefebvre states, "Because of self-management, a place is sketched between the citizen and the citadin, and Yugoslavia is today (1986) perhaps one of the rare countries to be able to pose the problem of a New Urban."

In NEW, Novi Beograd 1948 - 1986 - 2006, the young architects, urban planners, artists, and curators read excerpts of Lefebvre’s text in architectural sites and urban landmarks in Novi Beograde such as the Sava Centar, The Museum of Modern Art, as well as places like the Genex Towers, the New Belgrade West Gate. These sites are historical & present “urban facts” of New Belgrade and Lefebvre’s text both aligns and collides in terms of what New Belgrade was and can be.

The locations represent the architectural spaces of state modernism in Yugosalvia, the sites made from “urbanism form above”, that Lefebvre was suspicious of. These sites highlight New Belgrade´s representative role in the history and development of a the nation state and the Non Aligned Movement during the Sixties and Seventies.

By revisiting urban sites of New Belgrade 2006 - the capital of former Yugoslavia founded in 1948 - through Lefebvre’s concepts of 1986, we are looking in this continuing project for productive forces (aligned to new emerging concepts of citizenship and new concepts of self - organisation from below) which produce the urban territories and neighbourhoods today.


reading Lefebvre in order of appearance
Zoran Eric
Jelena Mitrovic
Dusan Saponja
Aleksandra Mircic
Ana Nikitovic
Ivan Petrovic
Davor Erdes
Dubravka Sekulic
Dunja Predic

The video "NEW" by Sabine Bitter / Helmut Weber is part of the research project
"Differentiated Neighbourhoods of New Belgrade" initiated by Zoran Eric
Center for Visual Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade

All quotations are taken fom a text French philosopher Henri Lefebvre has submitted as part of a proposal with French architects Serge Renaudie and Pierre Guilbaud for the International Competition for the New Belgrade Urban Structure Improvement in 1986.

filming was made possible by

Svetlana Ognjanovic
Museum of History of Yugoslavia (Tito Mausoleum, Museum of 25th of May)

Jasna Dimitrijevic
Sladana Suscevic
Sava Center

Zoran Radivojevic
Hotel Metropol

Branislav Andric
International CG (Genex)

Maja Popovic
Museum of Contemporary Art

thanks to
Ljiljana Blagojevic, Adrian Blaser, Alice Durst, Natasa Lazic, Zoran Eric
and US: Urban Subjects, Jeff Derksen

thanks for support
MoCAB, Belgrade
The Austrian Cultural Forum, Belgrade
Alas International
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
Goethe Institute Belgrade
Belgrade City Council
Grita Insam Gallery, Vienna

Nikola Zmajevic

© Bitter / Weber 2007

Videostill: NEW Novi Beograd, 2007.

Screening of
NEW Novi Beograd
Differentiated Neighbourhoods of New Belgrade
November 29 – December 2, 2007

Local Community "DUNAVSKI KEJ"
Boulevard Zorana Dindica 64
Novi Beograd
Belgrade, Serbia

see also: "Recent Geographies"
by Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber,
March 23 – May 05, 2007
Grita Insam Gallery, Vienna