Jon Brunberg

The Polynational War Memorial


May 18 - Oct 19, 2008. the Polynational War Memorial-Wanås Master Plan, group show Loss, Wanås Foundation, Wanås more
Jan 15 - feb15, 2008: premiere for the video the Polynational War Memorial, Part 3: the Interfaith centre, duo-show A memorial and a city, CRAC/, Clarion Hotel, Stockholm more


The Polynational War Memorial is a process-based, multidisciplinary and long-term art project with the objective to create a proposal for an updateable memorial complex commemorating all killed military personnel and civilians in all wars fought from 1945. The Polynational War Memorial would ideally be the main memorial site for commemoration of victims of war in the world. It should function as a bridge between veterans, relatives, and politicians from a broad range of nations involved in conflict and contribute to a profound level of understanding about the consequences and mechanisms of war.

The forthcoming proposal for a memorial complex will include: a main memorial, personal memorial areas, a university level peace and conflict research institution, a museum, a multifaith contemplation centre, a conference centre, mobile memorial units and other facilities. The Polynational War Memorial project is initiated by artist Jon Brunberg and while the project is still a one-man project the intention is to slowly broaden the network that starts to form around it and to make use of its collaborative potential.

Three architect groups have been invited to design three complexes that will be included in the final proposal. The first design for an Interfaith Center was completed by architects Erik Winquist and Anders Johansson of Testbedstudio architects in September 2005. The other two invited groups are Servo architects (Stockholm/Zurich/NY/LA) and Raumlabor (Berlin). This part of the work will result in a 3D animation that explains the contents and functions of the memorial site. The composer Fred Saboonchi has been invited to make a soundtrack for the animation. Detailed information about the design process can be found on the web site

For every project in this world there is an ultimate vision and this one is indeed no exception. The ideal site for an exhibition of a resulting proposals would in my opinion be the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The ultimate vision is however be that the memorial is actually built sometime in the future. This requires of course a significantly larger budget and a very large portion of goodwill from all people and nations that the memorial involves. These processes are certainly highly complex but if sufficient funds are raised and negotiations are successful the memorial might perhaps be in place already by 2015.

The startup phase of the Polynational War Memorial Project (2004-2008) was funded by a grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.



Article by Claes Sörstedt about the project in the Dutch magazine A10 more

Honoring those who served, Mark Kellner, Sign of the Times, Melbourne

Platsen inom oss, Fredrik Pålsson, Swedish Radio P1, Kulturradion K1/K2, 20 & 24 Nov
Rappt om förlust på Wanås, Karsten Thurfjell, SR P1 Kulturnytt, May 28
Konst på liv och död, Dan Jönsson, DN, May 26
Förlusten är svår att hantera, Fred Andersson, SvD, May 25
En stark känsla av förlust, Sune Johannesson Kristianstadsbladet, May 16
Loss/Förlust, Elna Svenle, catalogue text for Loss/Förlust, May
Han vill hedra krigsoffer - med ett jättemonument", Linda Nohrstedt, Byggvärlden, May 15
Det gränslösa monumentet, Sune Johannesson, Kristianstabladet, March 13
Till minne av krigens alla offer, Eva Lotta Hultén, GP, Feb 22
Festivalen, Milou Allerholm, DN, Feb 2