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"De opvatting dat kunst niets met politiek te maken mag hebben, is op zich al een politieke stelling" George Orwell.

Red Utopia is een prachtig uitgevoerd groot formaat fotoboek waarin communistische partijen en hun iconografie in India, Italië, Nepal, Portugal, Rusland en Nepal worden gedocumenteerd. Het boek bevat 65 foto' s.

Jan Banning, een partijloze progressief, creëerde Red Utopia als een niet-propagandistische zoektocht naar wat er 100 jaar na de Russische Revolutie overblijft van het communisme. Het boek bevat foto's van interieurs van communistische partijkantoren -' musea van een toekomst uit het verleden', zoals een jonge Italiaanse communist zei. Het presenteert ook portretten van ambtenaren en activisten in vijf landen: India, Italië, Nepal, Nepal, Portugal en Rusland.

Meer dan een eeuw lang was het communisme een bron van inspiratie voor idealisten en revolutionairen die een rechtvaardiger samenleving zochten. De strijd tussen communisme en kapitalisme was een belangrijk thema in de recente geschiedenis, zeker tussen 1917 en 1989.

In de praktijk van het echte socialisme bleek de communistische ideologie zeker niet ideaal; de processen in Moskou eind jaren 1930 schrikten veel gelovigen al, en de val van de Berlijnse Muur in 1989 lijkt de laatste klap te hebben gegeven. Het neoliberalisme, met zijn aanbidding van de vrije markt, lijkt nu de enige overgebleven ideologie te zijn.

Zelfs de vijf overgebleven dictaturen van het proletariaat zijn voor het grootste deel communistisch in naam. Met de teloorgang van deze politieke ideologie is de behoefte aan kapitalisme met een menselijk gezicht verdwenen en is de kloof tussen arm en rijk in veel landen groter geworden. Sinds de crisis, die in 2008 begon, is er een hernieuwde belangstelling voor Marx als politiek en economisch denker. Het roept de vraag op hoe dood is het communisme eigenlijk?
Jan Banning
00208431
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista: Circolo Sette Martiri, in the Castello district of Venice. Pparty members, with in the middle Alberto Cancian (Venice coordinator)
Jan Banning
00208432
Intaly, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Sette Martiri (Seven Martyrs circle), in the Castello district of Venice.
Jan Banning
00208433
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Sette Martiri, in the Castello district of Venice. From left to right, party members Alberto Cancian (Venice coordinator), Luca...
Jan Banning
00208434
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal Maoist, led by Netra Bikram Chanda (aka ^Biplab^): district party office in Buwal, Lumbini zone. In 2014, Biplabâs party split off from Baidyaâs Communist Pa...
Jan Banning
00208435
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), aka CPN-Maoist (Baidya), led by Mohan Baidya: district office in Banepa, Bagmati zone. Gita Rasaili (25), office secretary.Baidyaâs p...
Jan Banning
00208460
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: office of the local committee of Torzhok, Tver province. First Secretary Olga Volnina.
Jan Banning
00208436
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), aka CPN-Maoist (Baidya), led by Mohan Baidya: Dang Deukhuri district office in Ghorahi, Rapti zone. Baidyaâs party broke away from th...
Jan Banning
00208437
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), aka CPN-Maoist (Baidya), led by Mohan Baidya: Dang Deukhuri district office in Ghorahi, Rapti zone. Padma Prasad Adhikari, office sec...
Jan Banning
00208438
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), aka CPN-Maoist (Baidya), led by Mohan Baidya: district contact office in Pokhara, Gandaki zone. Standing: three members of the partyâ...
Jan Banning
00208439
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), aka CPN-Maoist (Baidya), led by Mohan Baidya: district contact office in Bhairahawa, Lumbini zone. From left to right: Ram Prasad Pkh...
Jan Banning
00208440
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist): district office in Sindhuli, Janakpur zone. Lila Shrestha, office secretary and central committee member.The CPN (Marxist) is a marginal party whi...
Jan Banning
00208441
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist Leninist): district office in Ghorahi, Rapti zone. Govinda Bahadur KK, member of the central committee and politburo. On the floor: banner for natio...
Jan Banning
00208442
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), aka CPN (UML): district office in Danusha, Janakpur zone.CPN (UML) came second (after Nepali Congress) in the 2013 Constituent As...
Jan Banning
00208443
Nepal, communism: CCommunist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist): meeting hall in the party headquarters in Kathmandu, meeting hall.CPN (UML) came second (after Nepali Congress) in the 2013 Cons...
Jan Banning
00208444
Nepal, communism: Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), aka CPN (UML): party headquarters in Kathmandu, press and publications department.CPN (UML) came second (after Nepali Congress) i...
Jan Banning
00208445
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist): district office for constituency #3 in Banke district of Nepalgunj city, Bheri zone.CPN-UML came out as the 2nd biggest party (af...
Jan Banning
00208446
Nepal, communism. United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) aka UCPN (M): district committee office in Banepa, Bagmati zone. The portraits are of local Maoist martyrs, killed in clashes with security f...
Jan Banning
00208447
Nepal, communism. United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)): district office in Danusha, Janakpur zone. Officer in charge of the district committee and central committee member, Ram Chandra Mandal.The...
Jan Banning
00208448
Nepal, communism. United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), aka UCPN (M): district committee office in Mahottari, Janakpur zone. Jamun Mandal, chairperson of the district committee.The UCPN (M) came t...
Jan Banning
00208449
Nepal, communism. Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist): district standing committee office of Sindhuli district, Janakpur zone. Office secretary Ramhari Pokharel. On the left, a portrai...
Jan Banning
00208450
Portugal, Alentejo, communism. Partido Comunista Português: JCP (youth movement) office in Evora, Alentejo. Pedro Grego, officer responsible for the district.
Jan Banning
00208451
Portugal, Alentejo, Partido Comunista Português, aka PCP: party office in Borba, Alentejo.
Jan Banning
00208452
Portugal, Alentejo, communism. Partido Comunista Português, aka PCP: party office in Borba, Alentejo.
Jan Banning
00208453
Portugal, communism. Partido Comunista Português: Activist Rodrigo Jose de Silva in the party office in Borba, Alentejo.
Jan Banning
00208454
Portugal, communism. Partido Comunista Português: party office in Montemor-o-Novo, Alentejo.
Jan Banning
00208455
Portugal, communism. Partido Comunista Português: meeting room in the party office in Montemor-o-Novo, Alentejo.
Jan Banning
00208456
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Dmitriev district office, Kursk province.
Jan Banning
00208457
Communism in Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Kirov district office, Kaluga province. First Secretary Valentina Gelperina.
Jan Banning
00208458
Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Pochinok district office, Smolensk province.
Jan Banning
00208459
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Rylsk district office, Kursk province.
Jan Banning
00208461
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Borovichi district office, Novgorod province. From left to right: Tatyana Lukina, chairwoman of the veteransâ organisation Children of the...
Jan Banning
00208462
Russia, communism. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Novgorod provincial committee office.
Jan Banning
00208463
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: office of the first secretary of Shimsk district, Novgorod province.
Jan Banning
00208464
Russia, communism. Communist Party of the Russian Federation, aka KPRF: St Petersburg municipal committee office, Leningrad province (oblast).
Jan Banning
00208465
Russia, communism. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Leningrad provincial committee office (obkom) in St Petersburg. Georgi Georgievich Slovtsov at the hatch.
Jan Banning
00208466
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Tsentralni district committee office (raikom) in St Petersburg, Leningrad province.
Jan Banning
00208467
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Obninsk district office, Kaluga province. First secretary Alexei Raspopov in the conference hall.
Jan Banning
00208468
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Opochka district office, Pskov province. First secretary of the district, Nikolai Mikhailovich Kirillov.
Jan Banning
00208469
Communism, Russia. Office of the Council of Veterans of the Second World War in Staraya Russa, Novgorod province. Chairman Yuri Budylev.
Jan Banning
00208470
Communism, Russia. Communist Party of the Russian Federation: Velikiye Luki district office, Pskov province.
Jan Banning
00208471
India, communism. Communist Party of India (Marxist), aka CPI (M): Che Guevara billboard in front of the Battuvam office, Kannur district. Since the 2016 elections, CPI (M) has been the major politica...
Jan Banning
00208472
Communism in India - Kerala. Communist Party of India (Marxist), aka CPI (M): Ikyabharatham local committee office, Alappuza district. Portrait behind the desk fan: E.K. Nayanar, late party politburo...
Jan Banning
00208473
India, Kerala, communism. Communist Party of India (Marxist)): Muhamma local committee office, Alappuzha district.Framed double portrait next to the window: the late leader of the Communist Party of I...
Jan Banning
00208474
Communism in India (Kerala). Communist Party of India (Marxist): Kuttanad regional committee office, Alappuzha district.
Jan Banning
00208475
Communism in India â Kerala. Communist Party of India, aka CPI: Cherpu local council office, Thrissur district. The big portrait is of N. Jayadevan, a CPI member of parliament, representing Thrissur L...
Jan Banning
00208476
Communism in India â Kerala. Communist Party of India, aka CPI: Methala village committee office, Thrissur district.Portraits on the back wall: left, socialist revolutionary Bhagat Singh, hanged by th...
Jan Banning
00208477
India, Kerala, communism. Communist Party of India (Marxist): Bakkalam local committee office, Kannur district. Monument for a local freedom fighter and revolutionary.
Jan Banning
00208478
Communism in India - Kerala. Communist Party of India (Marxist), aka CPI (M): Kannur district committee office.Meeting hall with portraits of local party activists beneath portraits of Lenin, Stalin,...
Jan Banning
00208479
India, Kerala. Communism. Communist Party of India (Marxist): Karthikappally regional committee office, Alappuzha district.Portrait, far right, Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, the late Comm...
Jan Banning
00208480
Communism in India - Kerala. Communist Party of India (Marxist), aka CPI (M): Ikyabharatham local committee office, Alappuza district. Portrait behind the desk fan: E.K. Nayanar, late party politburo...
Jan Banning
00208481
Communism in India â Kerala. Communist Party of India (Marxist), aka CPI (M): N.P. Vidyanandan, secretary of Punnapra South local committee office, Alappuzha district. Portrait next to the flag: G. Su...
Jan Banning
00208482
India, communism. Communist Party of India (Marxist) aka CPI (M): Taliparamba South local committee office, Kannur district. Party band's instruments.Since the 2016 elections, CPI (M) has been the maj...
Jan Banning
00208483
Communism in India â Kerala. Communist Party of India, aka CPI: Kondotty town branch office, Malappuram district. Che Guevara mural.The CPI is the second largest party in the Left Democratic Front coa...
Jan Banning
00208484
Communism in India (Kerala). Socialist Unity Centre India (Communist), aka SUCI (C): Kollam district committee member Shyla K. John.SUCI (C) is a minor communist party, founded by Shibdas Ghosh, with...
Jan Banning
00208485
Communism in India â Kerala. The communist Toddy Workersâ Union office in Ambalapuzha Taluk, Alappuzha district. Toddy is fermented palm wine.
Jan Banning
00208486
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Che Guevara, Verbicaro, Calabria.
Jan Banning
00208487
Communism, Italy. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Edda Fagni in Cecina, Toscana. The painting, La Carica, (The Charge) a scene from the Russian Revolution, is by Sergio Bertolin...
Jan Banning
00208488
Italy, communism. Partito Marxista-Leninista Italiano, aka PMLI, sede centrale (head office) in Florence. Patrizia Pierattini, librarian and journalist of thir newspaper ^Il Bolscevico^, and one of th...
Jan Banning
00208489
Communism, Italy, Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Sede (headquarters) Emiliano Zapata in Acerra, Campania. Party activist Maria Schiavone.
Jan Banning
00208490
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Rosa Luxemburg, Borgia, Calabria.From left to right, Francesco Maiuolo (activist), Angelo Caliò (activist), Nuccio Ursini (secr...
Jan Banning
00208491
Communism, Italy. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Lenci, San Teodoro (Genova), Liguria. Party activist Laura Vari.
Jan Banning
00208492
Communism, Italy. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Milei Veneziano, sede provinciale (provincial headquarters), La Spezia, Liguria.
Jan Banning
00208493
Communism, Italy, Partito della Rifondazione Comunista: office of the Federazione Provinciale di Napoli (provincial federation of Naples).
Jan Banning
00208494
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Milei Veneziano, Rossano, Calabria.
Jan Banning
00208495
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Sezione (section) Palmiro Togliatti, Taverna, Calabria.
Jan Banning
00208496
Italy, communism. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista, aka PRC: Circolo Giudecca, Venice. Party activists Primo Ardit (left) and Valeria Dordit.