How artists use virtual reality to capture traces of World War II crimes in Croatia – The Calvert Journal

Today, the stylized spomenik stone flower, designed by sculptor Bogdan Bogdanović, is located in the old Jasenovac site. But Croatia maintains a complicated relationship with the NDH and the Ustaša, with some government officials often trying to deny the country’s role in World War II atrocities. Most Croats are unaware of Slana’s camp. There are no monuments near the cove and a plaque commemorating the victims has been undone or destroyed on three different occasions.

Artists hope to use their exhibition to capture this erasure of memory and the barren landscape they left behind, although they stress that they do not consider themselves historians. “We do not want to talk about numbers [of victims], but rather the landscape that in itself suggests being erased, traumatized, that something horrible happened there, “says Konjikušić. He believes that the desolate landscape, in its own way, already commemorates the atrocities that took place. In a section of the exhibition, Konjikušić and Petković present their film, La Cala. Instead of depicting the linear passage of time, the film jumps day by day, season by season, until what appears to be an empty space is revealed as the scene of a crime. Atrocities were recorded in the rocky landscape in the summer of 1941 and will remain for an eternity.

But without any physical memorial to commemorate Slana, the artists build their own monument elsewhere: in the digital realm. The trio created a 3D reconstruction of the camp, which chooses digitally represented objects such as watchtowers and barracks, transforming the entire Slana space into a memorial site.



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