In the Slavic Languages, Spomenik means monument. In the case of this study, the term refers specifically to a series of constructs commissioned by former Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito to commemorate the events and losses of WWII. Scattered across the countryside of the Balkan Peninsula, these monumental edifices that once attracted millions of visitors each year have now slipped into a liminal state of neglect, abandonment, and decay. Entwined in the stained concrete, untamed landscape, and defaced surfaces are the stories of the region’s turbulent history. The Spomenik silently embody the conflicting and difficult emotions resulting from decades of violence and political turmoil; including World War II, the rise, dominance, and fall of the Communist Regime, threatening regional politics, and the wars resulting from ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. Travels in the Spring of 2012 took me to visit eight of the still-standing monuments in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia to experience their sculptural and material impact, study their convoluted history, and examine contemporary possibilities for the future of these stunning monuments.
More thorough information on the project can be found at: blackandblueblog.tumblr.com