Colourful Transformations of Soviet War Memorials in Slovakia and the Czech Republic

  • Petra Hudek (Autor/in)


Besides commemorating an important event or person, memorials have powerful communicative capacities. The difference between graffiti and memorials is obvious: graffiti is known for being provocative and not durable – it is ephemeral and emerges from the street, while monuments are erected “permanently”, often by a political power. From the perspective of protecting historical and artistic monuments, colourful graffiti may significantly damage them. Nevertheless, graffiti is a tool of protest, free expression and communication. Since 1968 citizens have often vividly expressed their feelings through demonstrations and street interventions in the form of graffiti and painting monuments, especially those associated with the Soviet Union. The aim of this paper is to analyse the function of the Soviet war memorials in the territory of the former Czechoslovakia in terms of their roles as communicators, reflected in the form of graffiti during both domestic and international crises and conflicts in the past half century.