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About This Project

The Scope

When it comes to Tito's National Liberation War (WWII) commemorative spomeniks in the former-Yugoslavia, many hundreds exist of varying types and styles. Some are small, some are large, some are more traditionally created, while some are space-age sculptures of abstract modernism. Over the course of my trip across the Balkans, I encountered every type. However, while each and every one of these memorials and monuments are unique and historically fascinating in their own way, what I have decided to 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 spomenik that existed or that I could find?" There are a few reasons. Firstly, if I was to attempt to document every single spomenik in the former-Yugoslavia to the extent that I am covering them here in this database, it would literally take years of my life and more resources than I have at my disposal to accomplish such a task, as literally hundreds, if not thousands, exist. Secondly, the grand, larger-than-life purely abstract and modernist spomeniks that grace hilltops, mountains, fields, river-sides, city parks and sea-views across the Balkans are, in themselves, a truly unique and awe-inspiring relics of supreme historical significance -- a first of their kind, really. To stand in front of these sculptures in all their strangely visual enigmatic forms causes wonderment in the sheer incongruity these free-form shapes exhibit within the habitats they reside. While I would love to document every single spomenik of this style, including even the smallest and most modest, I am relegating the scope of this database to only the most impressive and unique examples, while also concentrating on those which are predominately abstract and non-representational, avoiding those which overtly depict the human form as much as possible. I make such distinctions and exclusions simply to focus this database on the most striking modernist examples of artistically innovative, ground-breaking and adventurous commemorative war-monument construction which represent the most extreme break with monumental sculptural tradition the world had ever seen up until that point.

 

Over time, I intend to add more and more spomeniks to the 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.