There are different methods of celebrating an anniversary. There is that which looks back with pure nostalgia; a soft, uncritical reification that half expects time to repeat itself. It is safe to say that the vast majority of anniversaries are celebrated in such a way.
Then there is the method of commemoration that looks forward, that intrinsically understands history as a constant process, unfolding in this way or that depending on who pushes, who is pushed, and whether they are willing to push back. Not events as blueprints, but as ruptures and openings though which we can see a different future.
This second method is how we should celebrate the Russian Revolution. It is a century exactly since workers, soldiers and sailors stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd and made possible, for the first time, a world run by working and ordinary people. Such a world didn’t emerge, would end up diverted into the pallid, bureaucratic brutality of Stalinism. Do we give up on the vision that so many held at the front of their minds when the palace was stormed then? Red Wedge answers no, and we intend our soon-to-be released fourth issue as a way of insisting that this vision is still an urgent and necessary one.
In the meantime, we recognize and celebrate 1917 with Eisenstein’s amazing and monumental October: Ten Days That Shook the World. Like so many other artists in Russia and beyond, Sergei Eistenstein was beyond inspired by the socialist vision that seemed a reality in the years that followed 1917. He also saw it as an invitation to radically change the way we view everything. And as a filmmaker he intended to use his medium, his art, to aid in this process. We aim for our contribution to continue in this vein – sometimes obscured, often misused and frequently slandered – of uncovering how it is that ordinary people make and shape the course of history. – Alexander Billet
Sergei Eisenstein was a Soviet film director and film theorist, a pioneer in the theory and practice of montage. He is noted in particular for his silent films Strike (1925), Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1928), as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958).