In Mostar, diving off the Old Bridge is a tradition that has its origin in the very structure of the city. Without the existence of the Old Bridge, the tradition would never have been there. Even after the war when the Old Bridge was demolished and before there was a stand-in bridge, there was a springboard from which people could dive into the river. The jump is a form of survival for the inhabitants of Mostar, it is something they can hold on to, because it forms the foundation of being a Mostarac or Mostarka, not just a member of some district. The sensation of weightlessness is the feeling of ‘eternity’, something without limits, in nite, oceanic. Furthermore, swimming is an important and meaningful part of diving. Swimming has to be taught or else one is bound to drown. Everything one undertakes to overcome this condition could be explained as the continuous battle against one’s natural instinct: to sink.*
Swimming teaches us to keep our heads above water. Jumping off the bridge is an individual activity, but one that makes connections between men, as equals, through the courage to do so. The three- second jump towards the water provides a feeling of weightlessness and freedom where one becomes detached from everything around empowerment to conquer the city and the architecture for a moment and dive into the future with a new version of the old one in mind.