ENG

Concrete, sometimes mixed with iron, steel or glass. For many countries of Balkans and Eastern Europe, the socialist and communist era was a traumatic experience that is best forgotten. Nonetheless, at that time, a legacy of unique architecture rose up across the countries of Eastern Bloc.


Since I crossed the former boundaries of the Iron Curtain for the first time, I was knocked out by all the creations of the so-called Socialist Modernism. Impressive social housing projects, bizarre hotels, railway stations, stadiums, monuments or memorials: after the IIWW a unique style – rationalistic and standardised the housing, futuristic and abstract the monuments – spread out in the cities as well as in the untouched natural environments.


Nowadays, many of these buildings are in terrible condition, damaged or falling apart. These relics of communist-era represent more than 50 years of the best local artistic and architectural production. The problem, nowadays, is the heavy political burden they carry around. In many cases, these objects born from a failed political experience may not stand for ideals that people still want to celebrate.


Nonetheless, these concrete memories represent an artistic movement that should not be forgotten, apart from the political era they evoke.


ITA

Per molti paesi dei Balcani e dell’Europa Centro-orientale, il periodo comunista resta un’esperienza traumatica che oggi è meglio dimenticare. Durante questo controverso periodo storico, un particolare filone architettonico si sviluppò con i suoi caratteri distintivi molti Paesi del Blocco Sovietico.


Venne chiamato Modernismo socialista, uno stile che mescola geometrie secche ed austere con forme futuriste, brutaliste. Massicci complessi di unità abitative, hotel, stazioni, stadi, monumenti o memoriali: dopo la Seconda Guerra Mondiale questo stile unico si espanse sia in città che nelle aree rurali.


Oggi, molte di queste creazioni restano in pessime condizioni, semidistrutte o abbandonate. Questi relitti dell’era comunista si portano dietro un pesante fardello ideologico, sono messaggeri di ideali legati ad un’esperienza politica che in tanti preferiscono lasciarsi alle spalle.


Ciononostante, queste memorie di cemento sono la testimonianza di un movimento artistico e architettonico che sarebbe meglio non cancellare, a prescindere dal periodo storico e politico che evocano.

Supreme Council, Tiraspol, Transnistria

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Tjentište war memorial, Rep. Srpska, Bosnia Hercegovina

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Miercurea Ciuc, Romania 

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Memento Park, Budapest, Hungary

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Shkoder, Albania

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Bus stop, not far from Częstochowa, Poland

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Tiraspol, Transnistria

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Monument to Fallen Soldiers, Nikšić, Montenegro

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Hotel Cosmos, Chișinău, Moldova

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Alipašino polje, Sarajevo, Bosnia Hercegovina

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Bîcioc, Transnistria

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Station of Murakeresztúr, Hungary

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Eternitate memorial complex, Chișinău, Moldova

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Chișinău, Moldova

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Jasenovac flower war memorial, Croatia

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Silo, Prilep, Macedonia

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Chișinău, Moldova

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Trsa, Montenegro

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National Historical Museum, Tirana, Albania

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Rozdil'na, Ukraine

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Sarajevo, Bosnia Hercegovina

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Sarajevo, Bosnia Hercegovina

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Monument to fallen soldiers, Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro

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Timișoara, Romania

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