It has been a century since the Russian Revolution. The occasion has naturally provoked all manner of commemorations. The establishment calls it an unfortunate sequence of events never to be repeated, the right spits its vicious bile at the memory of a workers’ world, and the Left, to one degree or another, celebrates and analyzes and tries to ask how to make the history come alive again. How to make the dream of total liberation, of workers power and radical democracy, into a reality.
Red Wedge has a few ideas regarding this last point. To us, the art, the poetry, the music, the performance, the mass imagination unleased by these events; are worth not just revisiting and understanding on their own terms but engaging on their own. If art encourages us to imagine ourselves beyond the confines of our time and place, then anyone committed to radical social change must ask how in 1917 that vision traced a line from what was to what could be, and whether that trajectory has any meaning for us today. A revolutionary imagination demands a critical eye. We hope that “Echoes of 1917,” scheduled for a November release, can help the socialist Left meet this demand.
Featured in the issue:
- Crystal Stella Becerril compares the art of revolutionary Russia with that of the Mexican Revolution half a world away.
- Joe Sabatini dissects Russian philosopher Boris Groys’ theories on art and Stalinism.
- Part 2 of Neil Davidson's investigation of Leon Trotsky, Clement Greenberg and Georg Lukacs on Marxism and modernism.
- Adam Turl and Alexander Billet take a close look at what Enzo Traverso tells us about art, film, bohemia and utopianism in his book Left-Wing Melancholia.
- Jason Netek looks at the work of recently departed Soviet dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and we feature original translations of two of latter’s best-known poems.
- A long lost speech from Richard Wright, delivered to anti-war students in the beginning of the Cold War, introduced by Scott McLemee.
- Jordy Cummings on the mini-revival of Soviet disco.
- Earl Theodore reviews Owen Hatherley’s The Chaplin Machine.
- The sonnets of Margaret Corvid, the art of David Mabb, Jon Cornell, Richard Reilly, VHS Girl and more.
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