SEE curiosities - Part 5

posted by sab on 2007/04/24 17:27

[ SEE curiosities ]

On nettime, Ivo Skoric reported on the phenomenon of monuments in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia - Bruce Lee has been joined by a couple of other celebrities:

There is a new trend in monument buildings in the countries of former
Yugoslavia. After the wars that aimed to erradicate the multi-
cultural character of the former society, now the monuments are built
in celebration of that very character to globally recognized
imaginary heroes that fight for justice and protect the innocent:
Bruce Lee in Mostar (Bosnia), Rocky Balboa in Zitiste (Serbia),
Winettou in Plitvice (Croatia), Tarzan in Medja (Serbia) - birthplace
of Jonny Weismueller, and Samantha Fox (before breast-reduction) in
Cacak, the capital of Serbian country music. Significantly, the only
place where such a monument faces desacration and vandalism is Mostar
in Bosnia, also the only place still with multi-ethnic population. Is
it so that Balkanians can accept theoretical multi-culturalism only
once they practically destroy traces of culture of "others" around

(article in Croatian)

Skoric raises an interesting question here. The idea and background of erecting these monuments are definitely worth looking into - for now, they only feature in the entertainment - sections of Western European newspapers and under fun stuff/curiosities in blogs.
Still, not only Bruce Lee faces 'desacration' and vandalism, but, according to this blogger, so does the William Wallace Statue in Stirling, due to a resemblance to Mel Gibson. Whether the locals take a liking to a new monument or not, might not only be determined by the multi-ethnicity of the population, but also by the aim the particular statue has and the actual form it takes on - a golden Bruce Lee, erected to symbolize common values like 'fight for justice', interpreted (by the authorities behind it, and the artist)as fight against ethnic divisions, is maybe all too prone to being ridiculed. Which, ironically, unites the different ethic groups living in Mostar in contempt for the monument. Well, the artist can certainly claim to have made an impact with his work....


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The imagineSEE-weblog is a space about ideas, images, (re)inventions and (re)constructions of and about the Balkans, from outside and within SEE.

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This is a part of the collage 'The Black File' by Croatian artist Sanja Ivekovic, who will be represented at documenta 12 (16/6-23/9) in Kassel this year.

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