In April 2017 I went on a week-long road trip across six (or seven) countries, crossing six international borders and discovering 14 amazing monuments, many hidden away in the Balkan wilderness. Sasa, Kosta and I covered more than three and a half thousand kilometres, had encounters with three different police forces, gave one bottle of urine to a customs officer, and took more than five thousand photos.
I’ve just published the first in a series of articles for Skochypstiks that describe our journey through Former Yugoslavia. Read it here.
The monuments of former Yugoslavia are curious and complex, and no description of them is ever adequate. They are lost, forgotten, maintained, loved, hated, remembered, ignored, vandalised, irrelevant, celebrated, neglected and abused. Does that list seem contradictory? Welcome to the Balkans.
Built during the regime of General Tito, the monuments mark those who died resisting the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia during the Second World War. Following the collapse of Yugoslavia, the presence of the monuments has become infinitely complicated by the emergence of 6 (or 7) countries and the unresolved politics of this restless region. All monuments bring baggage, and those in Former Yugoslavia carry more than most.
Skochypstiks.com: A Monumental Tour – Part 1: Zajecar.