Spomenik

There is a new book out by Jan Kempenaers in which he documents a 3 year journey around former Yugoslavia, photographing some of the most amazing sculptures and monuments I have ever seen…

As I understand it, the former president of Yugoslavia, President Tito felt the need to honour the victims of the post war political purges that befell many of the newly Communist countries. As a result of this need for reconciliation and recognition he commissioned the cream of Yugoslavian architects and sculptors to build a series of Spomenik (which I believe means “monument”) across Yugoslavia.

These huge monuments are generally made of concrete or stone, and a few have metal adornments designed in. They were generally located on or near the sites of conflict, concentration camps and other atrocities and as such are now to be found throughout Croa­tia, Ser­bia, Slove­nia and Bosnia.

In Jan Kempenaers book there are almost 30 of these strange and wonderful structures. Today the names of the designers and the structures themselves are largely forgotten with most of them appearing to be falling quietly into disrepair, staining slowly and degrading into the landscape.

Even so, they still posses a power and a beauty that to me, seems entirely befitting of their original intention.

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  1. vexarb
    May 11, 2011 at 18:13

    Thank you for posting some remarkable public structures that I would not have otherwise seen – even if I happened to visit Europe. A burst of creativity after heroic effort in that nightmare War, similar to the Festival of Britain but starker because of what the Slav nations went through compared to us. I am sorry that it is we Anglo Saxons, their former allies, as part of NATO (the North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation who are now continuing the crucifixion and dismemberment of YugoSlavia. Tito, in honoring the past, seems to have anticipated the future – his people are going to be marked by colossal cataclys for a long time.

  2. May 30, 2011 at 09:18

    Amazing job

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