When I first saw a photograph of a Spomenik, I was reminded of a Pink Floyd album cover. Spomenik is the Serbo-Croatian word for ‘monument’. These concrete abstract edifices were created in the former Yugoslavia to commemorate World War II battles and celebrate the strength of the Socialist Republic. Commissioned by president Josip Tito in the 1960s and 70s these structures now stand abandoned on former battles grounds, surrounded by grazing sheep.

JAn-Kempenaers-Spomenik-NisDesigned by artists and architects such Bogdanovic, Bakic and Dzamonja, these colossal monoliths have a futuristic quality to them.
spomenik-Jan-KempenaersHowever, after the republic fell apart in the early nineties, these monuments gradually lost their meaning. Years later they stand, some are still visited today, but most half-forgotten. But, even without their symbolic historical meaning, they remain powerful pieces of modernistic art.JAn-Kempenaers-SpomenikJAn-Kempenaers-SpomenikJAn-Kempenaers-SpomenikIt is largely thanks to Belgian photographer Jan Kempenaers that we know about these sculptures. He traveled the ex-Yugoslavian region with an old map and recorded these awesome monuments. All the photo accompanying this post are his. JAn-Kempenaers-Spomenik JAn-Kempenaers-Spomenik

All images © Jan Kempenaers