Concrete clickbait – Photographer travels more than 6,000 miles across balkans snapping bizarre sculptures that could be from science fiction
An intrepid photographer has made his way across the Balkans, snapping a bizarre series of sculptures that look they belong in science fiction.
Dotted across tranquil fields in the remotest spots of former Yugoslavia, the “Spomeniks,” as they are known, are bizarre in both style and origin.
Some resemble spaceships, while others are shapes contorted beyond recognition.
Photographer Jonathan ‘Jonk’ Jimenez travelled around 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) to capture his series of 50 different Spomeniks.
This pursuit, taking place over two years, took Jonk, 31, to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia.
The idea for the series came to Paris-based Jonk after he discovered his first Spomenik – which means “monument” in Serbo-Croatian – when researching a trip to the Balkans in 2015.
A lot of the beauty that lies in the monuments, he said, comes from how they are placed in the most remote of locations, next to the likes of woodlands and farm houses.
According to reports, Spomeniks were predominantly erected in the 1960s and 70s, commissioned by Marashall Tito to commemorate the likes of Word War II battle sites, massacres or concentration camps.
Not wanting to favour ethnic groups, however, Tito and the designers he selected from across Yugoslavia opted not for precise structures of war heroes and generals, but instead the abstract structures.
Thousands of these sites were believed to have been destroyed in the early 90s, though, as ethnic divisions rose once again.
Today, some are still famous tourist attractions, whereas others are left to rot, covered in graffiti and neglected by locals.
The result of Jonk’s travels is a book, entitled “Spomeniks,” which will be released in November 2018.
Jonk said: “I know there are still a lot of them in the Balkans and I am still really attracted to them, so it is almost certain that I will go back and shoot more.
“I want to show something to is beautiful to me and unique in the world.
“I have always been attracted to abstraction in architecture and these monuments are the quintessential examples.
“Some of them, with a futurist design, are just simply incredible.
“By adding a Brutalist aspect, concrete, to these sometimes immense structures, something very powerful is created.
“With a highly-charged historical background, the result is no longer just powerful but unique.”