ESSARTER Éditions is an associative structure, specialized in photo-documentary publishing. The project was born from a meeting between several people, Lou Reichling and Mathilde Vaveau, and from a desire to gather around common interests: books, photography and documentaries. ESSARTER Editions' main objective is to create books where texts and photographs meet, and sometimes confront, each other.
For the past 2 years, Lou Reichling and Mathilde Vaveau have focused mainly on iconography, history and the human sciences in connection with countries recovering from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR (such as Les Utopies Rouges or Musée Immédiat). At the same time, they are setting up a new collection, based on the book À la Vôtre, which will deal with current political topics and their links with history.
Around these subjects, the project of the three books Les Utopies Rouges is born. The first of this series (1/3 - SINCE THE EXIL) will be officially launched on February 5 at the Cité internationale des arts, as part of Larisa Pelle & Olessia Venediktova's New Soviet Picture exhibition.
Les Utopies Rouges - to be published in February and pre-sale HERE
(these pre-sales act as participatory financing, with an objective to be achieved, to help in the production of books).
Les Utopies Rouges are a set of three books that bring together the photographs and texts of 10 European authors and photographers around the theme of political utopias in Europe following the fall of the USSR. In the aftermath of the centenary of the October Revolution, it can be seen that communism has so far only been possible in the unreality of literature or theories. Through the history of its different periods, the application of the pre-existing socialist theories of Marx, Lenin or Stalin, has a propensity to totalitarianism. Everywhere, the influence of the USSR has been so strong that it remains in people's minds as a kind of hope, an inaccessible dream that must be nurtured. As if it were a political plan that is still possible, it is commemorated in some societies in an unequal way.
This idea that a commemoration is sometimes utopian is found, for example, in the sequence of events in Ukraine since 2014. The revolution in Maidan Square preceded the war. The national pride of the uprising, embodied in the decomposition, has only produced disillusionment and to remedy it, inhabitants, intellectuals, writers, photographers, are looking for a parallel system to try to reinvent life in society.
On the other hand, in the separatist Donbass area, the great moments of glory of the USSR are celebrated, and the inhabitants, caught up by the war, try to live in this microcosm based on socialist hope.
What is the purpose of nostalgia for communism: this is what we want to discover, we who first grasp it as a deadly ideology? Are we blinded by criminal propaganda and by a more biased teaching than he himself wants to acknowledge?
Les Utopies Rouges go to meet landscapes, spaces and people by questioning architecture and places of memory through testimony and theory.
The authors: Arthur Bondar, Marylise Vigneau, Olessia Venediktova, Larisa Pelle, Karol Palka, Claire Laude, Maxim Sarychau, Alexander Ermochenko, Florian Tonnon and Christopher Nunn