About This Project
The Reason I Created this Website
When I decided I was going to travel across the former Yugoslav region to go see the spomeniks, I quickly found that any sort of comprehensive definitive resource giving detailed information about them as a collective entity (as far as what they meant, why they were built, where they were, much less how to find them, etc) was next to non-existent. However, in the planning of my first trip, I was not about to let this lack of information be a roadblock, so, as a consequence, I spent weeks piecing together researching relevant data on the internet until I was confident I had found the exact location of about 50 spomenik sites. My primary tools were mostly foreign language websites and the blunt process of scouring aerial photos of locations on Google where I suspected monuments might be.
Then, as I set out across the landscape to track down the spomeniks, at one point during the middle of my trip, I surprisingly ran across an American couple who were also on a similar trip to track down and see the spomeniks. They expressed to me similar frustrations about being able to find any comprehensive resources about them all online. At that point, I became determined that when I returned home that I would create a resource for others in the future to use who might want to go on a similar pilgrimage-type trip across the former-Yugoslavia to see the spomeniks. What I ended up creating was a website which contained well-organized profile pages for each of the major spomenik sites, giving a brief history for each monument, recounting their meaning and how they came to be, who built them and what the plaques, engravings and graffiti around them meant... furthermore, I explored the symbolism of the monuments, and most importantly, exactly how to find them.
There is something deeply moving and intangible that one experiences when one encounters the spomeniks... understanding their moving anti-fascist history, learning about the WWII fighters and victims whom many are dedicated to, taking in their awe-inspiring and ambitious forms, while also considering the innovative ideals and aims of "Brotherhood & Unity" which drove them to be built in the first place. Through creating this database and resource, I hope that more people across the world are able to visit them, learn about them and experience for themselves all of their historical, social, artistic and architectural components.