The act of remembering looms large in national cultures. Shared national memories act as a foundation for national identity, a unifying collective interpretation of history that can define what it means to belong in a certain place. Monuments loom even larger - define a national memory in concrete and stone, and you can help define your vision of the nation. That's why Nevena Katalina, a graphic design masters student at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, has taken the famous abstract war memorials in the former Yugoslavia and translated them into posters, attempting to reconcile the imposing concrete forms with the impact they've had on culture and memory in countries around the former Yugoslavia. Now battered after years of turmoil in the region, the memorials were originally commissioned by President Josip Broz Tito throughout the 1960s and 70s in all the Republics of Yugoslavia in order to commemorate victims of fascism and militarism. Also designed to emphasize Yugoslavia's continuing independence from the Soviet Union and the dictates of Soviet Realism, the memorials were ideologically neutral, abstract and intended to remember all victims rather than the more nationalistic Soviet memorials to the Great Patriotic War. Instead, the memorials are powerfully paradoxical: modernist but heavily ornamented; abstract while using mythological and spiritual influences as a frame of reference.
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