About This Project

The Scope of this Project

When looking at the heritage and legacy of sculptural and architectural memorial objects created during the Yugoslav-era to commemorate World War II (or the "People's Liberation Struggle", as it is often called in the former Yugoslav region), many thousands of such sites exist of varying types and styles. Some are small, some are large, some are more traditionally created, while some are highly ambitious sculptures of abstract modernism. Over the course of my many trips to the former Yugoslav region, I have encountered every type. However, while each and every one of these memorials and monument sites are unique and historically fascinating in their own way, what I have predominately dedicate this database to is the artistic stylings of the grandest and most notable spomeniks of purely abstract, non-figurative and modernist design.

"Why," you may ask, "would I make this distinction and not attempt to include every single WWII memorial site that existed or that I could find?" There are a few reasons. Firstly, if I was to attempt to document every single spomenik site in the former-Yugoslavia to the extent that I would like, it would literally take years of my life and more resources than I have at my disposal to accomplish such a task, as literally many thousands exist. Secondly, the grand, larger-than-life purely abstract and modernist spomeniks that grace hilltops, mountains, forests fields, river-sides, city parks and sea-views across the former republics are, in themselves, a truly unique and awe-inspiring relics of supreme historical significance. To stand in front of these sculptures in all their strangely visual enigmatic forms causes wonderment in the sheer incongruity (or sometimes congruity) these ambitious shapes exhibit within which the habitats they reside.

While I would love nothing more than to document every single monument of every style, including even the smallest and most modest, I am relegating the scope of my project primarily to only the most notable and unique examples, while tempering and curating my selections to sites of historical importance, visually striking sites, locations heavily impacted by war/degradation/violence, as well as sites which hold significant cultural importance. I make such distinctions and exclusions as a means to focus the project, to set myself achievable goals, and to create a free publically available resource which makes accessible and understandable the most artistically innovative and architecturally ground-breaking collection of commemorative war-monument construction which exists in Europe.

 

Over time, I intend to add more and more information and sites to this database as I continue documenting them, so, perhaps one day, this database might very well reach some level of near completeness in relation to my goals.

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