The Balkan peninsula is the melting pot of cultures and nations. It’s on the verge of Europe. The Balkans have been the spot for the most profound political games in the continent’s history. The most viewable legacy of the political actions and systems are the monuments. These pieces of history are laying around the peninsula, still witnessing some other times and the pain caused by Fascism and Nazism. Their remarkable architecture was caught by Jonk’s eye, a Europe-based photographer. He decided to preserve the majesty of the monuments with the tool of his trade.
“Last year I decided to study the region of the Balkans and see what can I find about abandoned places in that area. Some of them are not abandoned, but nevertheless, I find them fantastic. They are both brutal by their concrete make and beautiful by their artistic shapes. I planned a 5500km tour, visiting around twenty-five of the monuments in six countries. During my travels in the region, I’ve visited abandoned castles, churches, factories, etc.”
His interests were very broad until recently: now, abandoned places that he seeks all over the world are what defines his work. The monuments deserve a better recognition as treasures of history, he says.
“Some are part of memorials or parks and are being taken care of, but some are left to rot, and this is totally unacceptable, they are real pieces of history and deserve proper maintenance.” said Jonk for The Plaid Zebra.
All of these monuments are preserving the legacy of WWII. Jonk has photographed places in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The photos were taken by Jonk and are used with permission.
Just as a reminder: the Balkans are usually said to comprise eleven countries (Wikipedia). The region was deeply involved in both world wars. All of the countries have lived under socialism after the WWII.
You can check out Jonk’s work on Facebook.