A lot of people in Bor “spend their free time in inns and taverns”. It applies to all categories of population. What‘s more, there‘s always something going on in a tavern till the small hours.

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Kolovratar Đura, A Propsmaster With Balloons at a Slet Parade in 1950s Bor

Bor, 195? (Public Library of Bor)

Markov Ljubomir, Breakfast in Bor City Park

Bor, 1990 (Public Library of Bor)

< Kolovratar Đura, A Propsmaster With Balloons at a Slet Parade in 1950s Bor

Bor, 195? (Public Library of Bor)

The fifth kilometer of Bor’s urban matrix is recognized as a melting pot of the city. As a place where the planned urban fabric begins to unravel and dissolve into a deregulated urban environment. This kilometer, therefore, represents a spatial metaphor for urban anomalies that disrupt the organized life-work-city relationship, but also offer alternative ways of consuming the city space.

In the context of the multicultural background of Bor, which dates back to the period of discovery and early exploitation of copper resources, the new acquisition of RTB Bor by a foreign, Chinese company seems like a natural continuation of a long-term process of economic, cultural and social interpolation.

The culture of leisure

Markov Ljubomir, Celebration of May 1 next to Bor Lake

Bor, 1983 (Public Library of Bor)

In this project, the fifth kilometer serves as a stage for performing rituals, customs and everyday habits, all of which often include, as our research discovers, different ways of relating to leisure. The lens through which we should interpret the relationship between everyday life and urban space is, therefore, the culture of leisure. 

Kolovratar Đura, Children Swinging

Bor, 1960 (Public Library of Bor)

Kolovratar Đura, Radmila Kolovratar with Her Brother Miša in the 1950s Bor

Bor, 195? (Public Library of Bor)

Mitić Dragoljub, Family Lunch. Bor, 1970s

Bor, 197? (Public Library of Bor)


The practice of leisure activities, everyday life routine of a local community and finally spaces for gathering around food and drink are both private and public. When located in a public space, they often reveal the underbelly of the town’s culture and the manner in which different cultures intertwine. Still, they are all deeply connected to mining industry, the open-cast mine and their cultural, ecological and technological surroundings.

“For example, when Bor mine was formed, there was an invasion of newcomers of different cultural backgrounds, but the uniform technological process and life within the same ecological framework contributed to the creation, and continues to do so, of something new in a way of culture, which is common to all.” An example of an innovative cultural undertaking within the limited spatial context is café Jama (The Pit), located in Bor mine, 389m below ground, occupying the site of an abandoned mineshaft at the so-called 11th horizon. Soon after it opened in 2012, this place became a city attraction of sorts, drawing socially diverse crowds.

Be that as it may, when newcomers arrive, their habits and customs outset as alternative, even part of “underground” culture, before merging with, adapting to, and influencing the mainstream urban culture. A particular case elaborated here is an “underground” Chinese restaurant, located in a housing unit in Bor, which offers an authentic experience and culture of leisure to both Chinese newcomers and Bor domestic residents.

The aim of our projection of the fifth kilometer’s future is to shed light on inconspicuous, but tight connections between a seemingly insignificant event set in the town‘s underground and a broader matrix of urban space utilization. This specific case reflects the complexity of globalized multiculturalism within a context of local environment.

Kolovratar Đura, Bakers at Work in the 1950s Bor

Bor, 195? (Public Library of Bor)

Bor - The Space
Between the Pines:
Photo Essay

The series was made when I had already been living in Belgrade, during the weekends and summers I spent back in my hometown Bor. In the begining it was mainly an expression of nostalgia for family and friends. As the years when by, and my visits became less frequent, I felt as if I didn’t belong there anymore. My childhood friends had already started families and were employed in the mine – thes were living the life their parents had lived before them. The city has not changed much since the generational shift, and the spirit of the people and their attitudes towards life has remained the same to a gread extent. As if the time had stopped.

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 numerious film festivals worldwide. The
town of Bor is one of the primary sources of inspiration in his video and
photography projects.