Vol. 61 No. 1 (2023)

Lost in Time? The Socialist Modernist Monuments of the Former Yugoslavia and Their Shifting Conceptualization

Pages: 29-52



This paper explores the “lost language” of monuments erected in the former Yugoslavia from the 1960s to the 1980s—more precisely, the 25 national monuments captured by the lens of photographer Jan Kempenaers over the span of three years (2006−2009), and published in the monograph Spomenik [Monument] (2010). By combining the approach of cognitive linguistics and cultural studies, in particular that of Forceville (“Identifi cation”, “Metaphor”, “Agendas”), Kövecses (Culture, Context), Ortiz, and Kirn and Burghardt, this paper aims to explore the conceptual metaphors embedded in these monuments as part of a specifi c symbolic landscape, immanent to the countries of the former Yugoslavia at a historical point of their four-decades-long political, social, and cultural merger, as well as the current possibilities and limitations of the visual/multimodal decodifi cation of the memorials.


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