Sarajevo Now! The People’s Museum,
Venice Biennale, Strategic Proposal
Can a museum be a force for change in a city? Two decades removed from a devastating war, Sarajevo is today held hostage in a state of political paralysis with no end in sight. Destruction and neglect have transformed the city into a different kind of urban frontier. The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina epitomizes this phenomenon. Like no other building in Sarajevo, the ‘People’s Museum’ stands as an icon of resistance and continued resilience. Starved of funds and abandoned by government, citizens have been invited to activate the structure in new and unexpected ways.
Inspired by these demonstrations of solidarity and popular ownership, in Sarajevo Now: The People’s Museum, Urban-Think Tank and Baier Bischofberger Architects redefine the museum not as an institution dedicated solely to the display of objects, but as a catalytic urban space. The same resourcefulness shown under conditions of extreme stress has revolutionary potential in the post‑conflict era. The temporary strategies of adaptive reuse presented in this exhibition seek to channel that energy through architecture and design. Not towards restoration, but to support an alternative model of urban regeneration.