Canada Pavilion | August 29 – November 25, 2012
I grew up in Sarajevo, a city in the former Yugoslavia, with all my memories tied to European cities. These are memories of the ‘old world’ — history, grit, and cultures overlaid through the centuries. This heritage was strong, but it had not prepared me for what awaited me when I arrived in Canada as a war refugee in 1996. At the time when I was granted placement in Winnipeg, I was close to completing a degree in Architecture at the University of Belgrade. I was beginning to form professional opinions about buildings, cities, and architecture. As we were approaching Winnipeg from the air, I realized abruptly that all I knew or thought I knew had to change. The image of the city I saw from the plane window was drastically different from the one I had conceived in Europe. The neatly arranged single family houses lined along the streets were all seemingly identical to one another and organized tightly in straight rows. To me, Winnipeg looked like an architectural scale model of a city, with vast in-between spaces, and great American skyscrapers rising tall at its centre. It was an exhilarating experience of a new beginning, a new energy, and a new world.