In his work commissioned for the 3rd Autostrada Biennale in 2021, Alban Muja focused on a disappeared monument to equality and progress that once stood in the center of his hometown of Mitrovica. Erected during the Yugoslav era in the early 1970s, the monument was abruptly removed in 2010, and its status remains unknown. The monument was entitled “Equality, Work and Education” and featured the outline of two men and a woman holding tools, a pigeon, and a book, representing the values of work, freedom, and education, which were emblematic of the socialist idealist society. Although the reason for the monument’s disappearance remains unclear, it lives on in the collective memory of Mitrovica’s residents. The work was a symbol of talent and creativity of Mitrovica’s artists at that time, seamlessly merging the ideological concept with the technical realization, while reflecting the industrial world that once promoted the city and the ideology of the time. In the last edition of Autostrada a miniature version of the vanished monument emerged in the middle of Prizren, creating a surprise and gossip. Now, two years later, it is time for this anti-fascist memorial to come home. Muja has now reinstalled this old/ new/moving monument back to its home in Mitrovica.
Alban Muja (1980) was born in Mitrovica and lives and works in Berlin and Prishtina.
Text by Joanna Warsza & Hana Halilaj