Background information, content
"The book 'Chongqing Souvenir. A little tale of Revolution 1967-1968' by Lukas BIRK is not about facts but rather offers an idea on how to bring impersonal images of violence into a personal space of discussion. Clearly, the Chinese Cultural Revolution is not the only violent period that is not found in private photo albums or is still actively suppressed from public discussions by governing powers. Post-World War I & II colonial atrocities, for example, are still hardly to be found in Western history books and very rarely talked about in public, too.
The photo album 'Chongqing Souvenir. A little tale of Revolution 1967-1968' presents a record of unseen images from shaming ceremonies held during the Cultural Revolution in Chongqing, China. The images were given to the Austrian photographer and publisher by an anonymous person in Chongqing, in 2015. The prosecuted people depicted in the book were dissidents, intellectuals and opponents of the Communist Party who were publicly punished during the violent period of the late 1960s. Records like these are very rare and have not yet found their way into public discussions in China or internationally. As only official photographers were allowed to document these prosecutions, it is almost impossible to find such images in private albums.
This led to the idea to collage the images with Chinese photo albums that were produced in the same period and were widely used by members of the public to keep their memories alive. These kind of albums are often beautifully illustrated with ideas of prosperity and the development of society." (© 2020, Fraglich Publishing)
Lukas BIRK edited, designed and published the book 'Chongqing Souvenir. A little tale of Revolution 1967-1968' with a very basic introduction to the time period in English and Chinese, hoping to provide space for interpreting the images further. The book with an embossed padding came out in two colors: blue and rosé in a 300-copies-print-run.