Transition from Missing to Mission

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Belgrade's bombed-out buildings and perpetual roadworks are visual legacies of a decade of war and social turmoil; a less visible legacy is the absence of discourse around the effects of such transition in the urban environment. The School of Missing Studies (SMS) aims to 'turn what is missing into a mission' - by bringing together artists, curators, architects and theorists from the former Yugoslavia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the USA for two years' of research and workshops. Along with Belgrade, the cities of Munich, Zurich and Rotterdam have been chosen for study because of their different expressions of urban transition. One proposed workshop reconsiders Belgrade's city streets, inserting the experiences of marginal residents such as the homeless, disabled and prostitutes into the usual maps. A web site will provide general information about SMS as well as act as a communication and exchange platform between the participants. SMS will result in concrete projects for artworks and architecture interventions, critical writing, and cultural programming - rebuilding urban theory. - Helen Varley Jamieson.