Shaping Revolutionary Memory: The Production of Monuments in Socialist Yugoslavia

Editors: Sanja Horvatinčić and Beti Žerovc
Contributing authors: Marija Đorđević, Sanja Horvatinčić, Heike Karge, Ljiljana Kolešnik, Vladimir Kulić, Bojana Pejić, Sabina Tanović, and Beti Žerovc

The publication presents a comprehensive overview of the vast production of monuments in socialist Yugoslavia (1945–91) dedicated to the antifascist People's Liberation Struggle in the Second World War and the socialist revolution. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, these monuments have been subject to various fates, from neglect and physical destruction to global fame generated by the high-modernist visual appeal of a number of them. But the full scope, wide-ranging diversity, and complex context of Yugoslav monument making, including its various contradictions, have remained largely unexplored. 

The book offers a thorough and interdisciplinary exploration of this phenomenon and a rich visual material to examine its key characteristics and specificities: What memorial practices and commemorative traditions preceded the development of monument-making in socialism? Who commissioned these monuments and how did Yugoslav cultural and memory politics influence their production? Who were their authors and what defined their formal and typological features? How was Yugoslav monument production related to comparative efforts abroad? What commemorative practices developed around monuments? How is this legacy evaluated and received today, both in the post-Yugoslav successor states and internationally?

About the editors

Sanja Horvatinčić is a Research Associate at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb, where she is currently, among others, part of the project NAM Globe_EXCHANGE: Models and Practices of Global Cultural Exchange and Non-aligned Movement. Her research focuses on the production of monuments and remembrance culture in socialist Yugoslavia, as well as on heritage and memory politics in the post-socialist context.

Beti Žerovc is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her areas of research are visual art and the art system since the mid-nineteenth century, with a focus on their roles in society. She is the author of several books, including When Attitudes Become the Norm: The Contemporary Curator and Institutional Art (2015, reprinted in 2018) and co-editor of the awarded catalogue On the Brink: The Visual Arts in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929–1941) (2019).

Design: Ivian Kan Mujezinović / Ee
Publishers: Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory (Ljubljana) and Archive Books (Berlin)
Support: ERSTE Foundation
IZA Editions

English language
2023, Ljubljana and Berlin
Soft cover
Color print
424 pages
524 images
Price: 30,00 €

Order the book: Archive Books