The atlas


For several years, Belgrade was regarded as the epicentre of war and aggression. Nobody seems to have wanted war, but every individual had to deal with it nonetheless. Today Serbia has more than ten million inhabitants. Each one of them has his or her own opinion on the country’s history, identity and future. As one of the authors of this atlas puts it, “I don’t know what personal is, what I am, who I am, what Serbia is. All the borders change continually; everything changes from day to day. Nationality, identity – I don’t know, I don’t know what that is.”

For this atlas, Dutch designer Annelys de Vet invited more than thirty young Serbian artists and designers to map their country from an individual perspective. Born of personal experience, the contributions portray moving stories, some cynical or critical, others intimate and vulnerable. The unconventional images offer a new insight into a nation whose identity is scattered. They do not voice opinions but share human observations. The works reach directly to the soul of the society and constitute a confrontational crash course in Serbian culture. Through mapping cultural identity in this way, the Subjective Atlas of Serbia functions as a tool for understanding contemporary society at this place, at this moment.

Download the (low resolution) pdf

Published by: Dom Omladine, 2009
Concept & editing: Annelys de Vet
Introduction: Vladimir Arsenijević
Details: English, 128 pp, 16,5 x 22 cm, paperback
ISBN: 987-86-7698-020-8
Price: € 15,-
Distribution: Pegasus
Order at:

Our crashing banknotes of 1994 — Marija Kovac
Our crashing banknotes of 1994 — Marija Kovac

Serbian Landscape — Pedrag Markovic

My room — Vuk Kuzmanovic

Heritage — Miroslav Milovic


Alternative flags for Serbia

3 responses to “The atlas

  1. Russell Gordon

    Dear Neighbors,
    I wanted to tell you folks how much I enjoyed viewing the Atlas.

    Clearly there are some young people in Serbia who have a clear perspective on the confusion, chaos, complexity, and mess that is Serbia.

    While the Atlas by no means addressed the darkest aspects of the Serbian psyche, it certainly did not see with rose-colored lenses either (as did Guide to the Serbian Mentality, which should have been named Guide to how Belgraders would Like Others to See them, and Overlook Their Nasty Behavior to Outsiders).

    I congratulate you and hope we will all be able to live in peace, and not pieces, someday here in Serbia.

    Russell Gordon,
    Ralja, Sumadija
    (I say Sumadija in place of State, but please do not think I am planning a Sumadiski Drzava which will secede by warfare. I will just work in my garden and forget about the rest of it.)

  2. hi annelys. I was at the Ethics of Graphic Design seminar this evening at UCL.
    Your presentation was great! very interesting. I particularly love your atlases and I’m sharing this one with my Serbian friends.
    : )

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