Ipso Facto / Nazaraeli Press, 2017 | First edition
Hardcover, 141 pages, 280 x 370 mm
Condition: Near Fine
Red Utopia is a non-propagandistic document for what is left of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution. Jan Banning set off in search of locations in five “non-communist” countries – India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Russia – where the ghost of Communism still walks abroad and sometimes even dominates local mind-sets. The photographs show interiors of party offices and their iconography, as well as environmental portraits of party officials and activists: people who, unlike their colleagues in communist dictatorships, chose for membership out of a sense of conviction and free choice against the prevailing neoliberal trend.
Long before the Russian Revolution of 1917, communism was a source of inspiration for idealists and revolutionaries who sought a fairer society. The struggle between Communism and Capitalism was one of the main themes in recent history. The gritty experiences of real socialism, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the triumph of neoliberalism seemed to deliver the final blow to the communist ideology. Many communist parties were disbanded after 1989 or slowly bled dry. While the gap between rich and poor widened in many countries from the 1980s on, the Free Market seemed to have become the only remaining ideology.