Spomenik monuments are incredible structures scattered throughout all over the territory of the former Yugoslavia. During the 60’s and 70’s, Josip Broz Tito built these massive concrete memorials to commemorate sites where the fighting had taken place in World War II. Structures that today are amazing – impressive and strong. Today they are largely neglected and unknown, their symbolism lost and unwanted.
I admire this magnificent objects. Spomenik are historical witnesses of a territory that no longer exists (now Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina …) and of a impressive history.
Thanks to photographer Jan Kempenaers from Anversa, we can see these spectacular monuments. Jan has traveled in the Balkans from 2006 to 2009 and photographed one by one these mysterious objects – with the help of a map found in 1975 that signaled the presence of the monuments. They are beautiful in their unnaturalness and in their firmness. Spomenik are the symbol of a bygone era, a time that seemed glorious, but did not last long. If you would like to purchase his complete work here is the link: Jan Kempenaers – Spomenik (REVISED)
The history of these monuments reflects the history of the former Yugoslavia – In the 80’s these monuments attracted millions of visitors, but after the disintegration of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 90s, were left to themselves and have become futuristic monuments.
All images ©Jankempenaers