Jonk travels the world looking for abandoned places. Today, he has visited more than one thousand and five hundred of them in almost fifty countries on four continents. To be touched by a place, he needs to see that only time passing had an impact on it, without any human intervention: cracked walls, peeling paints, rusted iron and nature taking over.
The ideal is to feel that he is in what he calls time capsules, get the impression that time has stopped for years, for decades.
With time, his interest has focused on those places on which only time had an impact. Among them are what seems to him the strongest in the abandoned world: if it’s certainly the return of nature from a philosophical point of view, it is certainly the Soviet vestiges on a more pictorial side.
What is stronger than a decayed theater with a banner above the scene reading “Art belongs to the people!” in Cyrillic characters and “V.I. Lenin” as the quote’s signature? What is the strongest than being in the headquarters of Soviet forces in East Germany and finding the strategic plan of attack of Berlin in 1945? What is strongest than being on the roof of a 16-storie building in Pripyat in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and facing a metal structure of several meters high showing a hammer and sickle?
These are only three examples among thousands that he has been lucky to photograph. Goodbye Lenin is his fifth book where he presents a selection of photographs realized during sixteen trips between 2015 and 2019. He traveled all the former Soviet Socialist Republics in Eastern Europe, today independent countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, but also the countries called « satellites »: Eastern Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
One chapter per country presents captioned Soviet vestiges, introduced by the Soviet history of the country.
- Norway (Pyramiden)
- Baltics Countries (Estonia, Lituania, Latvia)