Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Red Utopia is a non-propagandistic search for what is left of communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.
Red Utopia is a non-propagandistic search for what is left of communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.
166 backers pledged €14,211 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

RED UTOPIA: communist party offices around the world. project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

€14,211

166

Red Utopia
Communism 100 years after the Russian Revolution - By Artist/Photographer Jan Banning

Red Utopia will be a beautifully executed art photo book documenting communist parties and their iconography in India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Russia, co-published by Nazraeli (US) and Ipso Facto (NL).

I think it is terrific and even better than Bureaucratics — so diverse.” Elisabeth Biondi, independent curator and former Visuals Editor of the New Yorker about the Red Utopia photo series.

For me (Jan Banning) - a non-party progressive – Red Utopia is a non-propagandistic search for what is left of communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution. The book will contain photos of interiors of communist party offices: "museums of a future from the past," as one young Italian communist said. It also presents environmental portraits of officials and activists in five countries: India, Italy, Nepal, Portugal and Russia.

CPI (Communist Party of India) Methala Village Committee office. The CPI is the second biggest party in the ruling LDF coalition in Kerala State.
CPI (Communist Party of India) Methala Village Committee office. The CPI is the second biggest party in the ruling LDF coalition in Kerala State.

Already before the Russian Revolution of 1917, communism was a source of inspiration for idealists and revolutionaries who sought a more just society. The struggle between communism and capitalism was a mayor theme in recent history, certainly between 1917 and 1989.

In its practice of Real Socialism, the communist ideology turned out to be surely less than ideal; the Moscow trials in the late 1930s already shocked many believers; and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 seems to have delivered it a final blow. Neoliberalism, with its worshipping of the Free Market, now appears to be the only remaining ideology. Even most of the five remaining dictatorships of the proletariat are communist in name only. With the demise of this competing ideology, the need for capitalism with a human face has disappeared and the gap between rich and poor has widened in many countries. Since the crisis, which started in 2008, there has been a reappreciation of Karl Marx as a political economist and one may wonder: how dead is communism really?

Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, Circolo "7 Martiri", Castello, Venice, Italy.
Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, Circolo "7 Martiri", Castello, Venice, Italy.

 Jan in Italy for Red Utopia

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The book
Red Utopia will be published in October 2017, around the time of the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. In that same month, the exhibition will have its opening in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL). Later on, it will travel to other museums (e.g. talks with the Museo di Roma in Trastevere are in an advanced stage).
The book will contain (at least) 50 photos, size 24x30 cm (or bigger).

With Red Utopia I want to contribute to the debate on social politics and the division between rich and poor.

A selection from the series was nominated for the Zilveren Camera (best photo by a Dutch photographer) 2017. The Mondriaan Fund has contributed € 8,500 to the realization of this book.

After pledging your support, please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your contacts.

Thank you very much for your help!

UCPN-M (Maoist) district office in Danusha (Nepal). District committee Incharge" and central committee member Ram Chandra Mandal. The party came in 3rd (after Nepali Congress and UML) in 2013 elections.
UCPN-M (Maoist) district office in Danusha (Nepal). District committee Incharge" and central committee member Ram Chandra Mandal. The party came in 3rd (after Nepali Congress and UML) in 2013 elections.

Jan Banning
Banning’s work carefully walks a line between document and art, banter and serious critical inquiry, showing a sophistication that marks him as one of the great portrait documentarians of our time.” Brett Abbott, former curator of the Atlanta High Museum of Art, about the Bureaucratics exhibition.

Jan Banning is a Dutch autonomous artist/photographer, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He gained worldwide recognition with his critically acclaimed photo book Bureaucratics (Nazraeli Press), edited by Martin Parr. Among his other well-known books are Comfort Women; Traces of War: Survivors of the Burma and Sumatra Railways; Down and Out in the South; and Law&Order.

Banning’s art work is in the collections of numerous museums, including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; and the Centraal Museum in his home town Utrecht.

His photo series have been published in print and online media such as National Geographic, TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, Slate, GEO (France, Germany, and International), l’Espresso, Days Japan, Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian Weekend, and Vrij Nederland, among many others. For more information about Jan Banning, please visit: http://www.janbanning.com

Circolo Che Guevara, of the PRC (Partito Rifondazione Comunista) in Verbicaro (Cosenza), Italy.
Circolo Che Guevara, of the PRC (Partito Rifondazione Comunista) in Verbicaro (Cosenza), Italy.


Risks and challenges

If, for some unforeseen reason, the book will not materialize, you will of course receive all your money back.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €15 or more About $17

    i-Book Down & Out in the South

    * Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    * A copy of my i-Book (for Mac only) Down & Out in the South with 42 studio portraits of homeless people in the US South.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $56

    RED UTOPIA Book plus postcards

    • A signed copy of the RED UTOPIA photo book.
    • Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    • 4 RED UTOPIA limited edition postcards.
    * An invitation to the book presentation of Red Utopia in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL) with a preview of the exhibition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    117 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €110 or more About $123

    RED UTOPIA Book plus 1 or 2 other books

    * A signed copy of the RED UTOPIA photo book PLUS option 1 OR 2:
    Option 1: A signed copy of my BUREAUCRATICS photo book (4th limited edition, value € 70)
    Option 2: signed copies of my two previous books, Law&Order and Down & Out in the South (combined value € 75).
    * Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    * 4 limited edition RED UTOPIA limited edition postcards.
    * An invitation to the book presentation of Red Utopia in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL) with a preview of the exhibition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 24 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €175 or more About $195

    Portrait Workshop

    * Portrait workshop (in group of max. 7 people, date to be jointly decided) in my studio (in Utrecht, NL). 5 hours incl. lunch (travel costs not included).
    * A signed copy of the RED UTOPIA photo book.
    * Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    * 4 RED UTOPIA limited edition postcards.
    * An invitation to the book presentation of Red Utopia in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL) with a preview of the exhibition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €350 or more About $390

    Studio portrait session

    
* A portrait session in my studio in Utrecht, the Netherlands (travel costs not included). For examples of the style I will use, see
    http://www.janbanning.com/single-portraits/
    * A print of your favorite portrait from that session, 30x40 cm (11x15”) print.
    * A digital file or the portrait.
    * A copy of the RED UTOPIA book
    * Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    * 4 RED UTOPIA limited edition postcards.
    * An invitation to the book presentation of Red Utopia in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL) with a preview of the exhibition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,750 or more About $1,951

    Limited edition box with book+3 prints!

    
* You receive a specially designed box with a signed copy of the RED UTOPIA book + 3 archival quality prints, size about 30x40 cm / 11x15” for an exceptionally reduced price.
    * An invitation to the book presentation of Red Utopia in Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (NL) with a preview of the exhibition.
    * Your name in the Contributors section of the Red Utopia book.
    * 4 RED UTOPIA limited edition postcards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)