A group of Balkan artists aim to turn one of the world’s most expensive military facilities – the former Yugoslav leader Josip Tito’s hidden bunker – into one of Europe’s most thought-provoking art venues.  Built in 1979 as a safe place in the event of nuclear war, the bunker for the former Yugoslav leader has sat empty 40 kilometers south of Sarajevo for over 30 years.  It has been guarded all these years by a handful of soldiers, who up until recently, were the only ones that knew it existed. 

Inside Tito's bunker

 For now, the concept for the exhibition is dubbed “the time machine”, as the bunker “takes you back in time to the Cold War era but also somehow speaks about the future because today’s dominant culture is also full of apocalyptic scenarios and they just keep multiplying,” Dimitrijevic says.

“The location in which an exhibition is held sets you up in a certain context… and this is one of those situations,” says Petar Cukovic. “This location has an immense power of its own…

The artists behind this project hope that it will become a spot on the European cultural map.  If it doesn’t, and I’m sure it will, the installation should still have a powerful impact on the people of the Balkan region.  This project is a great opportunity to start bridging some of the gaps in this region.   I’m not about to start extolling the virtues of art and tell you that it has the power to heal, and will solve all of the problems in the Balkans, but it is a start.  It is a place that all the peoples can go and, if not look at the art, look at the bunker, go see a part of their shared heritage.  The young artists that are behind this are all from different countries and backgrounds.  If they can put the past behind them, then perhaps others can as well.

It is a good article and something worth reading up on and following.



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