8TH KILOMETER

8TH KILOMETER | BOR | SERBIA 2021

8TH KILOMETER | BOR | SERBIA 2021

8TH KILOMETER

Pavilion of Serbia | 17th International Architecture Exhibition La Biannale di Venezia

Authors of the Exhibition:

Iva Bekić
Petar Cigić
Dalia Dukanac
Stefan Đorđević
Irena Gajić
Mirjana Ješić
Hristina Stojanović
Snežana Zlatković

Exhibition Commissioner:

Slobodan Jović

Collaborators:

Katarina Đorđević
Stefan Đorđević
Deana Jovanović
Jelica Jovanović
Dragan Stojmenović

Scientific Committee:

Ljiljana Miletić Abramović
Tanja Damljanović Conley
Predrag Milutinović
Zorica Savičić
Branko Stanojević
Dejan Todorović
Aleksandru Vuja

MuBGD, 0 km
Open Cast Mine, Bor, 2019.

THE 1ST KILOMETER

In the morning I open my eyes, look through the window and see: the smoke is rising. I say to myself, things are good. For where there‘s  smoke, there‘s copper, and while the copper is flowing, Bor‘s life purpose is not imperiled.

There is almost a religion of copper emerging. Jubilee anodes become memorials, as well as basic elements of Bor myth, the belief that the whole town is one big community. Bor copper symbolizes the ideals of social justice, progress and hope. It is the best that Bor can offer to its residents.

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< MuBGD, 0 km
Open Cast Mine, Bor, 2019.

km1

Markov Ljubomir, Portrait of a Smelter Beneath a Smokestack
Bor, 1992  (Public Library of Bor)

Markov Ljubomir, Panoramic View of Bor Taken From a Plane in 1990. In the foreground are RTB Bor facilities and the old Bor open-cast mine is in the background
Bor, 1990  (Public Library of Bor)

Bor mine <> Bor town

< Markov Ljubomir, Portrait of a Smelter Beneath a Smokestack
Bor, 1992  (Public Library of Bor)

Soon after being founded at the beginning of the last century by the joint efforts of Serbian investor Đorđe Vajfert and Czech engineer František Šistek, the Bor mine entered into the ownership of the French Society of the Bor Mines. At the same time, a once rural settlement located in the vicinity of an ore deposit began its transformation into the town of Bor, in order to provide infrastructural support to the newly founded mine. From that moment on, the development of Bor has been on spatial, historical, social and political level directly and inextricably tied to the development of the mine itself.

Town of Copper

Mitić Dragoljub, Bor Smelter interior
Mining and Smelting Basin Bor (Smelter), Bor, 1972  (Public Library of Bor)

Mitić Dragoljub, Young Smelters. Mining and Smelting Basin Bor (Smelter)
Bor, 1962  (Public Library of Bor)

The initial kilometer of the town‘s septempartite linear structure comprises the actual industrial complex of Bor mine, so the mining and smelting facilities, plants and machinery form the basis of the spatial and functional reinterpretation of Bor‘s first kilometer within this research project. Following the end of the First World War, the operation of Bor mine was thriving and for the first time Bor started to resemble a modern city. During the second half of the 20th century the mine was nationalized and operated under the common ownership.

Subsequently, production was doubled, facilities were modernized and RTB Bor became one of the biggest companies in Yugoslavia employing around 24 000 people by the beginning of the last decade of the past century. In this period, the majority of population from Bor and its surrounding area were employed by the mine, and Bor became known as the “town of copper”.

Still frame from a short film Ashes od US, Stefan Đorđević
2020

< Excerpt from a film  Man Is Not a Bird, Dušan Makavejev

1965

Privatization
of Bor mine

During the 1990s, as a consequence of the civil war and the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the company‘s expansion decelerated, and in the first decade of the ongoing century it encountered economic, social and symbolic degradation. The mine underwent a process of privatization and is now owned by the Zijin Mining Group as the biggest company in Eastern Serbia.

Copper production is established as the imperative of this town‘s existence, becoming incorporated in all the aspects of citizens‘ lives and representing an indispensable generator of all economic and social undertakings in the town of Bor.

During the 1990s, as a consequence of the civil war and the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the company‘s expansion decelerated, and in the first decade of the ongoing century it encountered economic, social and symbolic degradation. The mine underwent a process of privatization and is now owned by the Zijin Mining Group as the biggest company in Eastern Serbia.

Copper production is established as the imperative of this town‘s existence, becoming incorporated in all the aspects of citizens‘ lives and representing an indispensable generator of all economic and social undertakings in the town of Bor.

< Excerpt from a film  Man Is Not a Bird, Dušan Makavejev

1965

Excerpt from a film  Man Is Not a Bird, Dušan Makavejev

1965

Ashes of Us:
Synopsis

In the old copper mine near the industrial town of Bor in Eastern Serbia, miners have been melting copper the same way for more than fifty years. As time passes by their attitude towards life changes. Nikodije is concerned with maintaining the fire stove temperature at the exact level when a tree log is lowered into it. Despite being one of the eldest and most experienced workers, always surrounded by his colleagues, he doesn’t talk much. Slaviša operates a crane at the height of about fifty meters, from where he lifts and lowers enormous tree logs into the fire stove. He spends the rest of his working hours in solitude, transports copper plates from the fire stove to further processing. He is isolated in the crane cabin and doesn’t leave it until the end of the shift. Their gazes are fixed on the fire stove, their thoughts distant.

1 Stefan Đorđević (film director, stefan.j.djordjevic@gmail.com) completed his BA and MA at the Camera Department at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. His Master Thesis was a short fiction film “A Handful of Stones”, which had international premiere at the ACID programme of the Cannes Film Festival. He directed a short fiction film “The Last Image of Father”, which was awarded at numerous film festivals worldwide. The town of Bor is one of the primary sources of inspiration in his video and photography projects

COPPER DREAMS