Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By The Weird Whims of Tito: The Forgotten Monuments of The Balkans

What magnificent creation and spectacular destruction can spring from the heady stew of nationalism and hubris.

The Broz - Authoritarian, Communist, Smiley Pants
Former Yugoslavian President and long moldering corpse Josip Broz Tito ("Broz" obviously kept as a middle name to bolster street cred amongst the brothers) knew this all too well, as he was responsible for both.

Since this isn't a foreign policy or military history blog (dare to dream), I won't get into the destruction wreaked by this controversial Socialist dictator.  But, since this IS a blog devoted to the strange and often creepy, I will focus on the nationalistic and commemorative monuments erected at Tito's command in the 1960's and 70's - the overlapping decades when The Weird went Pro around the world -  which yielded some quite extraordinary results, including the picture heading this post, recalling anything from an inter-dimensional portal to a Skynet cast-off from the Terminator series.

Indeed, according to this posting on the oddly formatted website/blog Crack Two:  
These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković...), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their "patriotic education." After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.
And here's what Tito wrought... possibly to show up Marlon, Jermaine, Jackie, and that fucking showoff Michael:

To me, they look like either inter-connected outposts, or colossal puzzle pieces scattered across the countryside, waiting to be assembled into a massive machine with truly cosmic implications.

Gargantuan, mysterious, and slightly menacing, in an alien sort of way, nodding to possible architectural inspiration that seems to be decidedly - dare I say - non-Euclidean in nature.  Hmm.....

But, while we're caught up in the awesomeness of Yugoslav design, let us never forget:
Maybe the Balkans need another pipe-smoking strongman (sans the ethnic cleansing) to raise magic from the ground again.  It could only improve the view.


  1. I've honestly never seen anything like them.

  2. Actually, Tito was his middle name in a way (it was actually his codename/fighting name, just every other partisan, he had one too), while Broz is his last name. So, first of all, just because someone wasn't an American douche, doesn't mean he was a dictator. You should have done some research before posting crap like this. Also, Tito isn't responsible for nationalism, he was the reason there was no nationalism in the Balkans for so long! After his death, you all know what happened, from your Hollywood movies of course, God forbid you read a history book...

    Oh, last but not least, google "BRUTALISM" and see what it means. You might be surprized just how NOT strange these monuments are. And btw, they all stand at places where the harshest battles against the Nazis were fought, but you wouldn't know anything about that since the Soviets won the war for you.

  3. Oh, I've read history books. Plenty of them. Mounds and mounds of them. Just not any about Yugoslavia, as my interest level is pretty low. I'm sure you understand.

    I just googled Brutalism, and didn't find anything remotely as cool as the pics I posted. What a waste of a google. Great name for an architectural movement, though.

    And, in case you didn't suss out from my overall blog and this piece in particular, when I dub something "strange" or "weird," that's a compliment, a term of endearment, and really the reason for this blog's existence.

    As for the rest of your bitter britches screed, I don't know what to tell ya', Mr. Anonymous. I'm just a horror writer who saw some cool pictures of strange looking buildings and posted them on my blog, with a brief bit of context culled from a quick scan of the Internets. Don't need to start a regional war (easily won by the U.S.) about it.

  4. Thank God for those Soviets. Whew.

  5. What Hollywood movies are there about Yugoslavia?

  6. Garrett! Duh!