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Spomenik Database Video Archive

Art Films/Music Videos

This section explores the various ways that artists and videographers have, in recent times, employed the imagery of the abstract WWII (NOB) monuments (or 'spomeniks') of the former Yugoslavia into video art projects, music videos, and other forms of inspired creative video design. My inclusion of these art films/music videos here is not meant to be an endorsement of these videos... this is simply meant to be an educational resource to illustrate how images of the monuments are being utilized in modern video art forms by various artists around the world.

'Save Yourself' music video by ONE OK Rock [2022]

In this music video for the song "Save Yourself" by the Japanese band "ONE OK Rock" [official website] (that is from their 2022 album "Luxury Disease" on the label Fueled by Ramen), the central setpiece for the video's production is the Partisan WWII monument located at Kosmaj Mountain in Serbia [profile page]. Through the video (which was produced by UnderWonder Content and shot by Ukrainian director Tanu Muino), the band can be seen performing on a circular stage constructed within the center of the monument that was built over top its inner memorial plinth. The video is filmed with a brooding aesthetic, showing the monument in dark atmosphere illuminated with dramatic lighting.

'СПОМЕНИКИ - Инопланетные Монументы Югославии' art film by Balkan Stories [2021]

This short art film, produced by German-based Russian filmmaker Alex Bokov, has a title that roughly translates from Russian into "SPOMENIKI - Alien Monuments of Yugoslavia". The film operates as a collection of aerial drone shots taken of 14 Yugoslav-era monuments across four countries, all set to brooding ambient music. As part of the project "Balkan Stories", Bokov has been working for several years photographing and filming Yugoslav monument, even making short documentary videos about them in Russian on his YouTube channel.

'Last and First Men' experimental art film by  Jóhann Jóhannsson [2020]

The trailer in this video is a promotional look at the 2020 experimental art film titled "Last and First Men" by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Filmed in 16mm black-and-white, the primary subject of the film are various views of a significant number of the WWII monuments of the former Yugoslavia. These film images were captured by Jóhannsson himself, along with José Enrique Macián. Accompanying the film is a narration by Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, who, through the film, reads excerpts from Olaf Stapledon's famous 1930 book "Last and First Man", which has a story that is said to "describe the history of humanity from the present onwards across two billion years and eighteen distinct human species".

'Zidinia' music video by Colonia [2020]

This music video entitled "Zidinia" is from a track by Croatian-based Eurodance music duo Colonia (composed of Boris Đurđević & Ivana Lovrić) [official Facebook page] which comes off of their 2020 album 'Ritam ljubavi'. Within this music video are a number of short shots throughout that were filmed at and around the "Monument to the Revolution of the People of Moslavina", which is located in the small central Croatian village of Podgarić. The scenes filmed at the Podgarić monument consist of the two artists walking and posing around the sculpture and its entrance pathway, with most of the shots being Lovrić filmed standing in front of the monument while she wears a showy elaborate red dress.

'Freed From The Pressures of Time' music video by Lord Dying [2020]

This music video, which is entitled "Freed from the Pressures of Time", is a work produced by Portland, USA based heavy metal band "Lord Dying" [official Facebook page], which is off of their 2020 album "Mysterium Tremendum". This music video contains imagery of roughly a dozen different Yugoslav monuments, including the sites at Kozara, Podgarić, Kosmaj, Niš, among others. The video used in the music video is recent, but it is digitally altered to appear to be of an 80s vintage style. Not only does the music video engage in a significant amount of artistic video editing of the monument's form and shapes, but it also pairs and juxtaposes the monuments with astronomical depictions, portraying the monuments as if they were part of some sort of space wormhole.

'Trippin' music video by Katerinha [2020]

This music video, which is entitled "Trippin", is a creation by Berlin-based North Macedonain musician Katerinha, whose Facebook page describes her style as "soul pop jazz". This video focuses on two dancers, Exocé Kasongo and Astan Meyer, who engage in a variety of energetic modern dances at and around many of the most famous memorial works of the Yugoslav-era, including the Makedonium at Kruševo, the Monument to the Battle of Kadinjača, the Monument to the Battle of Sutjeska, the Ossuary at Veles and the Bubanj Memorial Park at Niš. In an interview with C-Heads Magazine, Katerinha makes the following statement where she relates her symbolic intentions behind creating this music video: "The aesthetics of all the elements – the music, the nature, the dancers and the architecture combined create a delight for the lover of beauty and teases curiosity for these unknown alien-like places."

'Crne oči' music video by Kukla [2019]

This music video, which is entitled "Crne oči" (or "Black Eye" in English) is by Slovenian musician Katarina Rešek, who goes by the stage name 'Kukla' and describes her musical style on her Facebook page as "Slavic Gangsta Geisha Pop". The song from this video is from her 2019 album 'Katarina', while the music video for this song was a self-directed effort (as Rešek was also a film school graduate). The primary location where this music video was filmed was at the Makedonium monument at Kruševo, N. Macedonia. In an interview, Rešek relates "I have been fascinated by the Makedonium monument since I was a child. When I am in Kruševo, I go to the monument every day, go to see it or sit there... It seems to me that there is a lot of wealth in our cultural heritage that we have in this cultural environment, and because of that, it was immediately clear to me that I was going to record at the Makedonium."

'Crno Srce' music video by Senidah [2019]

This music video, which is entitled "Crno Srce" (or "Black Heart" in English) is by Slovene singer Senida Hajdarpašić, who goes by the stage name 'Senidah'. This song is from her March 2019 debut album 'Bez tebe' (on the label Bassivity), a breakthrough album that has quickly propelled her into mainstream success in the Eastern Europe trap music scene. The media has repeatedly referred to Senidah as the 'The Balkan Trap Diva'. Within the music video for this song, the Monument to the Kosmaj Partisan Detachment on Kosmaj Mountain is Serbia is prominently featured in many scenes as a background element. In addition, the nearby Avala Tower is also shown in several shots. The video has a very dark a brooding atmosphere, and the monuments are used within the video in such a way to emphasize that aesthetic.

'Romeo & Juliet' music video by Mozzik x Loredana [2019]

This music video, which is entitled "Romeo & Juliet", is by the Swiss-based rap duo "Mozzik x Loredana" (whose real names are Gramoz Aliu & Loredana Zefi). Significant portions of this music video, which is sung in the German language, are filmed at the Memorial Crypt to Fallen Fighters located at Veles, N. Macedonia. The primary filming at the site is done in front of the large mosaics inside of the monument, with some additional filming at the end of the video done in the outer courtyard. It is not clear if the lyrics in the video relate to the sites used for filming within the monument, however, there are no immediate indications that they are related. Aliu is of Albanian-Kosovo descent, being born in Ferizaj, Kosovo, which may explain their connection to this region.

'Darkside' music video by Alan Walker [2018]

This music video which is entitled 'Darkside', by the Norwegian pop record producer and DJ named Alan Walker [official site], features two very notable abstract Yugoslav monuments, the ones which are located at Podgarić and Tjentište. Directed by Kristian Berg, the video also shows scenes filmed at the Mausoleum of Njegoš on Lovćen mountain in Montenegro. The music video depicts these monuments inhabiting some otherworldly realm inhabited by two cult-like groups using the monuments for some ceremonial-like purposes. In addition, the video uses high-tech effects to show these groups using some futuristic drone-like robots to scan the monuments.

'Temple' art film by 'David & Douglas' [2018]

This black & white short art film entitled 'Temple', created by production team Pierre David & Douglas Guillot, shows American skateboarder Sammy Montano skateboarding on and around a number of significant Yugoslav abstract WWII (NOB) monuments, including the sites of Kozara, Podgora, Medeno Polje, among others. A description of the filming of these monuments by the creators explains it as an effort "to spiritualize the expression of their magnificent forms, timeless aesthetics and monumental dimensions", while also describing it as a project of "pure reverence and tribute to these monuments".

'The Reason I Came' music video by Olympique [2014]

This music video for the song 'The Reason I Came' by Austria-based rock group Olympique [Facebook page] (directed by Bernhard Kaufmann) depicts the lead singer/guitarist of the group acting out a sort of frenzied 'journey' across some of the more notable Yugoslav abstract WWII (NOB) monuments. Shown in the beginning of the video holding a crudely drawn map of many of the monument sites, he then proceeds to run around and stand among the memorial sculptures. The video ends with the singer then collapsing down in a grassy field in the middle of what appears to be an 'omega' symbol (or perhaps the bands logo).

'Monument' art film by Igor Grubić [2015]

This art film by multimedia artist Igor Grubić is described as being as "poetic-experimental documentary". In this film, nine Yugoslav abstract concrete monuments are visually explored with a wide array of artistic camera shots overlaid with thoughtful ambient music. Grubić states that " combining the images of these impressive works of abstract sculpture with the potent nature surrounding them, Monument creates a visual metaphor to reflect on their purpose nowadays." The trailer to this film is linked here, but unfortunately the full video is not available online.

'Sankofa' film by Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher [2015]

This production, by first time filmmaker Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher, is billed as a sci-fi film about a woman on a spaceship who is searching for Earth's long lost memories. Along her journey she discovers a box which contains within it a documentary a man had made about the abstract WWII (NOB) monuments of Yugoslavia. Through examining the film footage of these monuments and the man documenting them, the woman begins to question the nature of history and memories, leading her to rethink the very mission she was tasked with. This film is presented in English. Linked here is a trailer for the film, with it being available online for purchase.

'Kosmaj Paradox' music video by Tankarville [2014]

This instrumental music video for the song 'Kosmaj Paradox' by the French electronica artist 'Tankarville' [website] uses numerous stylized black & white still images of the Yugoslav WWII (NOB) abstract monuments within the production. Among these still images is interspersed are dark disturbing scenes of macabre gore, torture, tragedy and overall unsettling imagery. Whether this video is making some nature of political statement is not clear, but it leaves the viewer with an overwhelming sense of doom and unease. In addition, the album this song comes from, titled 'Memorials (The Ghost of Communism)', uses an image of the Sutjeska monument as its cover art.

'Revolucionarni Dom' art film by Sead Šabotić [2016]

This experimental art film by Montenegrin director Sead Šabotić, whose titled roughly translates into English as 'Revolutionary House', artistically explores the unfinished, decaying and dilapidated structure known as 'Dom Revolucije' in Nikšić, Montenegro. This building, created in the early 1980s by Slovenian architect Marko Mušič and meant to be a cultural center dedicated to the Yugoslav socialist revolution, was left incomplete and abandoned come the 1990s. The structure is described by the director of this film as being "a reflection of the fate of the revolutionary fight and the reality of today’s society". The full film is not available online, but I have linked here to the trailer for the film.

'Red Star's Collapse' art film by Dewitte, Oger & Carlier [2016]

This short digital art film was created by three students (Adrien Dewitte, Aurélien Oger and Paul Carlier) at l'Ecole Supérieure d'Infographie Albert Jacquard (ESIAJ) in Namur, Belgium. The film depicts rendered versions of several of the more notable Yugoslav WWII (NOB) monuments in a set of sweeping artistic perspectives. Also included in the video is a rendering of the Buzludzha monument in Bulgaria, which is see falling into destruction at the end of the film.

'Stát' music video by WWW Neurobeat [2018]

This music video for the song titled 'Stát' by the Prague-based experimental-electronica group 'WWW Neurobeat' features a significant number of the more notable Yugoslav WWII (NOB) abstract monuments. During the video, three individuals are filmed in various dramatic shots dancing and posing on top of and around these monuments, among which include the Stone Flower Holocaust memorial located at Jasenovac, Croatia. Interestingly, the video also shows the dancers at the Buzludzha monument in Bulgaria.

'Odakle' music video by Šuma Čovjek [2018]

This music video for the song titled 'Odakle' by the Swiss based band 'Šuma Čovjek' [website], whose members are originally from the Bosnian region, has a number of segments which were filmed at the Smrike monument site near Novi Travnik, Bosnia. During the video a number of men and women wearing traditional Bosnian costumes are seen doing traditional dances in front of the monument within a snow covered landscape. The song seems to be about the troubles and tensions that a young couple are going through in their relationship. The song is sung in the Bosnian language.

'Loved You All The Way' music video by Teachers [2017]

This music video for the song titled 'Loved You All the Way' by the Brooklyn-based US band 'Teachers' [website] contains a number of of scenes which are filmed around various Serbian-based abstract WWII monuments of the former-Yugoslavia, including the memorial sites at Kadinjača, Ostra and Niš. The gloomy black & white video shows the band performing around these monuments, while a drone-fixed camera records sweeping aerial shots of the sites. In a 2017 article, the band's lead singer, Ben Bronfman, stated that "I love monuments from the time of communism... I know they should be gloomy, and they are, but they are also extremely powerful!"

'Acordar' music video by Freson [2015]

This music video for the song titled 'Acordar' by the Brazillian rock band 'Fresno' [website] contains footage of the band members walking around the grounds of the Sutjeska monument which is located at Sutjeska National Park in Tjentište, BiH. Interestingly, the band also released a song on their earlier 2013 album "Infinito" which was titled "Sutjeska"... however, the music video for that song did not contain any images of the monument. However, the band made a live recording series in 2015 called the "Srpska Sessions" during which they preformed their song "Sutjeska" song  within the wild rolling landscape of Sutjeska National Park, most likely at the same time they recorded the music video for 'Acordar'.

'MOnuMENTImotion' art film by Muhamed Kafedzic [2015]

This is a short art film created by artistic director Muhamed Kafedžić Muha. This film is comprised of various monuments within the the former Yugoslav states being digitally animated in a myriad of creative, playful and thought-provoking ways. The film delves into themes of conflict, contested history and the search for peace within the remnants of Yugoslavia. The film's description says it was inspired by the book "MOnuMENTI, the Changing Face of Remembrance" by Marko Krojać. The film premiered at the Peace Event Sarajevo in 2014.

'Heart Juice' music video by Reverse Engineering feat. Diyala [2012]

This 2012 music video for the song 'Heart Juice' from the band Engineering [featuring Diyala] was made by the Croatian videographer Filip Filković. The premise of the video revolves around a time traveling scientist, played by Victor Castagnè, who is trying to evade other time travelers attempting to capture him. The video concludes with the scientist succeeding in escaping his would-be captors and emerging from an underground bunker at which point he is confronted with the 'Monument to the Revolution' at Podgarić, Croatia. The scientist then approaches the monument and the video ends.

'Yustalgija' music video by Priki [2012]

This 2012 music video for the song 'Yustalgija' by the Bosnian rapper Haris Rahmanović, who performed under the stage name "Priki". The video was produced by Croatian videographer Filip Filković. This music video and song are meant to be an effort by the Rahmanović to depict what life would have been like if Yugoslavia had never been dismantled, with much of the video composed of imagined scenes across Croatia, various news headlines and nostalgic objects/images. Meanwhile, the video also contains many scenes of Rahmanović being filmed around the now derelict Petrova Gora monument in Croatia. The video concludes with Rahmanović walking into the thick fog at the monument site.

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