Red Utopia



 

RED UTOPIA
Communism 100 years after the Russian Revolution

 
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Communism seems like a thing of the past: relegated to the dustbin of history. But photographer Jan Banning’s Red Utopia looks at various corners of the world, where the ideology that so determined the course of the twentieth century is still alive and kicking.

Jan Banning (b. 1954) set off in search of locations in five countries (India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Russia) where the ghost of Communism still walks abroad and sometimes even dominates local mind-sets. In cities and (sometimes isolated) towns and villages, he recorded the interiors of Communist Party offices with their often exuberant iconography: red flags and banners, portraits
of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and pictures of national party leaders and ideologues. Sometimes he has also photographed local party activists, often staring solemnly into the lens from behind their desks.

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