Sarajevo Apartment Block
Sarajevo is filled with these identical Yugoslav-era apartment blocks. There's a pattern to the sequence of windows and balconies, but if you look more carefully, you see that people have added unique touches -- white window frames here, flower boxes there. These buildings were built and owned by the state. During the post-Tito transition, the units were sold at very cheap prices to their existing inhabitants, and because of this, there is still virtually zero homelessness in Sarajevo today, despite the fact that unemployment hovers around 50%. The black marks on the cement are soot from makeshift stoves that people fashioned in their windows during the Balkan War when Sarajevo was under siege and gas was unavailable. The other side of this building faced the hills, and so it is pocked with holes from the snipers' bullets and grenades.
By Leah Madsen
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