The Archive of Landscapes
Cultural Heritage Project 2017
UNESCO Natural and Culturo-Historical region of KOTOR
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
I am Bogdan Kusevic, an architect from Kotor, Montenegro. In July 2018, I defended the master’s thesis titled: The forgotten cultural landscape of the Bay of Kotor. Valorisation of medieval path and ruins in Prcanj, and thus obtained an MSc degree in architecture at Politecnico di Milano. Before that, I acquired a bachelor’s degree and a specialist’s degree in architecture at the University of Montenegro - the Faculty of Architecture, where I studied between 2010 and 2015. In 2010, I finished high school in Kotor. In 2006, I completed primary musical school 'Kotor' and primary school in Prcanj with award for excellence Luca 1.
I am an architect. I was awarded an MSc degree in the field of Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Design at Politecnico di Milano in July 2018. Many years before I enrolled in architecture school, I started to observe, document and photograph the buildings in my homeland. My passion for cultural heritage and photography continued during architecture studies, when I found an immense inspiration for landscape photography in my hometown Prcanj. In addition to this, my grandfather was a professional photographer whose photographs never fail to impress me.
The cover photo below represents the street called Ulica Lukovica - Lukovic Street situated in the town of Prcanj in Montenegro. It is one of the most beautiful Baroque coastal streets in the Southern Adriatic. However, this street, together with other settlements which belong to Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor under the UNESCO protection are now facing the unprecedented degradation because of poorly planned and excessive development. I appreciate the cultural landscape of my homeland very much as well as the native traditional building techniques and, above all, the local architectural heritage, so my photographs almost always represent the landscape with its unique architectural particularity. Harmony of the sea, the mountains and the palaces lined up along the waterfront is probably one of the most picturesque scenery in the entire region, especially in the morning.
Belonging to the native population of Bay of Kotor, I feel overwhelmed by this scenery because this is the place where I have been living since I was born. I think that photography could have a big role in raising awareness of the general public about the heritage, its role in the local community and its peculiarity on the global scale. Here, in the area of Boka Kotorska and the Bay of Kotor, sometimes referred to as “The most secure port of the world”, the echo of the past centuries has been overwhelmingly present. Today, landscape has changed in a negative way but there is still a hope for its preservation and regeneration.
About the project
THE ARCHIVE OF LANDSCAPES
The area of Boka Kotorska in Montenegro, which has been World Heritage Site since 1979, has been facing unprecedented degradation during the last decade due to unplanned and excessive development that has been carried out without implementation of any study for protection and management of cultural landscape. And now, when you look at the images of cobbled hills of Boka Kotorska, destroyed picturesque seashore villages, masterpieces of fortification and residential architecture in danger, you might wonder how come the most beautiful things that we, as citizens of Montenegro could be proud of, are about to vanish just because of us.
The cultural heritage is, after all, a civilisation code of one area and thus the cultural language of architectural heritage. This is not a photography project because I am not a professional photographer, nor it is a project for architectural restoration because I am not a restorer yet, nor even a tourist guide because I do not work in tourism sector. This is THE ARCHIVE OF LANDSCAPES that will never be the same again and as harmonious as it used to be. Over the past decade, the landscape of Boka Kotorska has degraded very much and has been turned into excavations site, into trenches and landslides between concrete structures. Boka Kotorska is a bay in Montenegro where various cultures overlap due to Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian rule. Today, the devastation of the cultural landscape and the architectural heritage has worsen, which implies that the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor will most likely lose the UNESCO status of the World Cultural Heritage Site acquired in 1979.
On this occasion, I would like to ask all scientific organisations in Montenegro, state bodies, dedicated experts and foreign organisations to come to Boka Kotorska and to give the utmost scientific support in maintenance, protection and regeneration of cultural landscape of UNESCO Natural and Culturo-Historical region of Kotor, so that its outstanding universal value can be preserved and left for the future generations to come.
Heritage photography and photostories
Kotor is medieval town in Montenegro, with longest fortificational system in the region measuring 4,5 km
Glavati-Prcanj place of calm waters and furious storms, cultural landscape of immense importance in danger because of construction works
Perast the naval town with 18 churches and baroque palaces,in the UNESCO's region of Kotor. Photo represents ruins of old fort above town
Lukovic street as the most beautiful example of ambient baroque street in South Adriatic
Old parish church of Prcanj, as proof of historical development of the Prcanj setlement in the hill
Our Lady's temple in Prcanj is the biggest church at the time of its building (1789-1909) in Eastern Adriatic sea
Medieval pathway above Prcanj is the oldest road that connects Kotor with Prcanj and surrounding villages and dated back to middle ages