Sardarapat Heroic Memorial Complex. Image © Darmon Richter

Sardarapat Heroic Memorial Complex. Image © Darmon Richter

British researcher Darmon Richter has recently released Monumentalism, a visual study of over 200 photographs featuring socialist architecture and designs built by 20th century regimes around the world. These photos were taken in more than 30 different countries and show a broad range of subject matter, from military parades in the former Soviet Union to revolutionary memorial sites. See more after the break. 


Memorial House, Tjentište. Image © Darmon Richter

Memorial House, Tjentište. Image © Darmon Richter

Richter has spent the last 10 years exploring Eastern Europe with his camera, creating the ongoing project to document and preserve these vestiges of past revolutions and regimes. “Today, many of these monuments are in terrible condition, marked with graffiti and falling apart,” explains Richter. “In Croatia there are Yugoslav monuments dedicated to the victims of Croatian war criminals; while in Serbia, in the 1990s, Slobodan Milošević tarnished the Yugoslav brand by endorsing ethnic cleansing under the banner of the Yugoslav People’s Army. In neither country do the surviving Yugoslav monuments always offer a particularly comfortable narrative.”

In many Eastern European countries, these relics of socialist-era monumentalism represent half a century of work by artists, sculptors, and architects. As Richter continues to catalog and document the architecture and monuments, many have begun to already disappear. “Piece by piece they disintegrate, getting smaller from one visit to the next. So that’s why I’m doing what I do; I photograph doomed monuments before they vanish forever.”

Read more about this project here, and find in-depth essays about many of these locations on The Bohemian Blog.

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