“These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place or where concentration camps stood. They were designed by different sculptors and architects, conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their ‘patriotic education.’ After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost. From 2006 to 2009, Kempenaers toured around the ex-Yugoslavia region with the help of a 1975 map of memorials, bringing before our eyes a series of melancholy yet striking images.”
My day has been made. I don’t need anything else. If anyone needs me I’ll be sitting here with my eyes pressed up against my monitor while a slideshow of these pictures plays.
The former Yugoslavia has been very nice to me in my travels, and they leave me with pictures of plenty of awesome monuments.
Given, what has become of the former Yugoslavia (which is to say, the wars and the continued attempts to stop Kosovo’s independence) is decidedly less awesome.
What with the fiscal problems Europe (and the world) is facing, new monuments to anything probably aren’t high on the policy agenda. But I’ll be interested to see what they look like, someday.
Todo sobre mi madre / All About My Mother (1999) - Director: Pedro AlmodóvarSeventeen years ago, I made this same journey… but in the opposite direction, from Barcelona to Madrid. I was running away then too but I wasn’t alone. I was carrying Esteban inside me. I was running away from his father then and now I’m going in search of him.