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The revolution that changed the world - 1917
The revolution that changed the world - 1917

Tue, 17 Oct



The revolution that changed the world - 1917

Date et lieu

17 Oct 2017, 11:00 – 17 Dec 2017, 17:30

Perpignan, 24 rue Francois Rabelais, 66000 Perpignan, France

Infos de l'événement

« the revolution that changed the world »


One Hundred Photographs of the Birth of the Soviet Union


Michel Lefebvre Collection


Exhibition presented at the Couvent des Minimes, in Perpignan, by the International Center of Photojournalism.


The Russian Revolution changed the world, it also changed the way of seeing the world. The Soviet Union produced a unique aesthetic : political revolution, social revolution, graphic revolution went hand in hand. And photography took a big place in this revolutionary momentum. Producing images to defend ideas was the watchword of filmmakers and photographers who espoused the theses of the Bolsheviks, what Alexander Rodchenko called the change of point of view. The classic vision of the Russian revolution and the birth of the Soviet Union was provided turnkey by the Russian propaganda agencies where the best photographers Max Alpert or Yvan Chaguine and the best graphic designers like Klucis or El Lissitsky worked. They have produced the most beautiful magazines and the most beautiful books. But the formal beauty of this work also hid falsifications, special effects, and the disappearance of many actors of the revolution who disappeared even from photographic memory.


At the base of this collection there are three sources. The first are photo cards made by the photography studios of Petrograd, Bulla or Steinberg. Some of these cards traveled and were found in Europe where they arrived by post. These are moving testimonies taken on the spot in the middle of the demonstrations. These photos show us that between February 23 and October 25, 1917 in Petrograd the people occupy the street, the workers mingle with the shopkeepers and the bourgeois, women and men mixed, the soldiers are omnipresent, first to repress but then to participate in the revolutionary movement. The second source are photos from the personal albums of Russians who fled the revolution with photos of the events they had attended. The third and most important source are press photos that came out of Russia and found themselves in newspaper archives before being dispersed. Some of these documents were subsequently censored in the USSR and are therefore very rare.


The exhibition will present one hundred photos in eight chapters : Chapter I Russia at war. Chapter II From February to October the revolution. Chapter III All Bolsheviks. Chapter IV Long live the revolution. Chapter VThe USSR under construction. Chapter VI Lenin the Prophet. Chapter VII Stalin the Victor. Chapter VIII Trotsky proscribes him.

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