13 Feb 17

More Work for the Balkan Map Makers?

The 1995 Dayton deal ended a boom time for Balkan mapmakers – but with ‘land swaps’ and frontiers once more up for discussion, they could find their services in demand again.

Marcus Tanner BIRN London
 The golden age of Balkan mapmakers continued for some time.

Back in the early 1990s, as Yugoslavia began to dissolve, I met Vuk Draskovic in the Hotel Moskva in Belgrade to discuss borders. The head of the Serbian Renewal Movement had come to show me a map containing his own solution to the crisis, which he had doodled on an Avis rent-a-car map of Yugoslavia in a blue biro.

A connoisseur of Balkan maps - I have a large collection - I studied it with interest. I wasn’t that surprised that Vuk’s biro did not seem to have traced any borders for Bosnia, Montenegro or Macedonia, let alone Kosovo; he was a Serbian nationalist, albeit of an eccentric variety, after all.

But I nearly spat out my cake when I saw what he’d done up in the northwest. “You haven’t given Croatia very much,” I protested. “No Osijek or Dubrovnik? Surely that’s going to result in bloodshed.”

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