Belgrade’s Socialist-era Interiors

With a MoMA exhibition of Yugoslav-era brutalist architecture coming up in the summer, countless photos of Spomenici (aka WWII monuments) making weird architecture listicles and the never-ending appeal of mid-century architecture, it seems like a high time for Serbia to start preserving its Socialist-era architectural heritage, including its peculiar interiors. Although there have been some notable public efforts recently, like reconstruction of Belgrade’s Museum of … Continue reading Belgrade’s Socialist-era Interiors


Understanding Marina Abramovic

For a nation that takes immense pride in its famous sons and daughters, the Serbian public’s apparent disinterest in Marina Abramovic’s global success as an artist is an aberration. Despite the fact that Abramovic is by far the most acclaimed living artist from the former Yugoslavia, the average Serb would probably not know her name. She is mostly absent from the Serbian press, there are … Continue reading Understanding Marina Abramovic

Hidden Belgrade (22): Pištolj-mala and Lower Dorćol’s lowly days

Now a budding foodie hub, attracting Belgrade’s fashionable creatives, Lower Dorcol was the site of Belgrade’s most notorious shanty town, Pištolj-mala (“Pistol slum”), some 90 years ago. As Serbian architect and historian of Belgrade’s urbanism, Dr Zlata Vuksanović Macura, notes in her research(with some great photos), at its peak this shantytown housed about 1,500 souls in about 300 houses , spread in the area around … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (22): Pištolj-mala and Lower Dorćol’s lowly days

Hidden Belgrade (21): The rise and fall of the Friendship Park

There are a few testaments of Socialist Yugoslavia’s global ambitions dotted around Belgrade, from the obelisk by Branko’s bridge commemorating the first meeting of the Non-Aligned movement in 1961, to Sava Centar, built to host conferences of OSCE and Non-Aligned Movement in 1977 and 1979, respectively. However, the most striking and poetic memorial to rise and disastrous fall of Yugoslavia’s international clout is the Friendship … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (21): The rise and fall of the Friendship Park

Hidden Belgrade (7): The fall of Ikarus

Tragically named airplane factory that found its way to the hearts of New Belgraders Ikarus was the first Yugoslav airplane factory, founded in 1923, in Novi Sad.  As expected for an aircraft factory named after the first known air accident with a human fatality, Ikarus had suitably a bumpy start as it almost went bankrupt before it started producing planes. Neverthelss, after a bit of … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (7): The fall of Ikarus

Hidden Belgrade (2): Legacy of Petar Lubarda in Dedinje

This year marks 110 years since the birth of Petar Lubarda, one of the most accomplished Yugoslav artists. Lubarda’s colourful, raw works, reminiscent of the barren and dramatic landscapes of his native Montenegro, achieved international recognition during the 1950s and 60s. His career peaked when he beat Picasso and Dali for a Grand Prix at Sao Paolo Art Biennial in 1953. A stone’s throw away … Continue reading Hidden Belgrade (2): Legacy of Petar Lubarda in Dedinje