This Tote Bag I write it myself is a work that is part of the trilogy of European intellectual Resistance developed by Roberto Aguirrezabala throughout the 3 artist books: Hidden Book, Samizdat and Two Thousand Words.
Hidden Book is a tragicomedy of 20th century social and political life, a choral story of a grieving and resilient Europe making fun of itself. A drama and a comedy with hilarious characters and visible from the depths of human tragedy to the most biting satire. The narrative is based on various plots drawn from a selection of fourteen novels banned by communist governments in the Eastern Bloc. Most of the novels deal with political issues, critical of Soviet supremacy over communist satellite countries.
Samizdat is a work that reflects on the intellectual dissident movements that emerged in Eastern Europe. It delves into the underground resistance that tried to circumvent censorship by publishing books, magazines and newspapers banned during Soviet hegemony. These were known as samizdat, a word of Russian origin that means self-published. They had a strong impact in all communist countries, particularly in Czechoslovakia, following the signing of the manifesto known as Charter 77. Most of its signatories were arrested, banned from writing and publishing, and relegated to jobs far removed from their intellectual activities. Due to severe reprisals by the secret police service, it became necessary to take the movement underground once again. It was more important than ever to keep intact the channels used to distribute free and independent information. It was in this context that emerged a hidden organisational structure for the printing of banned books, free speech manuscripts and unofficial gazettes. Rudimentary techniques such as the use of multiple carbon paper copies when typing documents on a typewriter, were used. These techniques produced very few copies, which were passed person-to-person via an underground distribution network.
Two Thousand Words is a photobook that analyzes the active resistance, but eminently peaceful, that was carried out in Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring. From its pages emerge several ancient images taken at street level by an anonymous amateur in August 1968, during the invasion of Soviet tanks that were deployed through the streets of Prague. Half hidden, by the assault of these photographs, is the text of the original manifesto in Czech, Two thousand words, by the writer Ludvík Vaculík, published simultaneously in several newspapers on June 27, 1968. The photobook is completely hand-bound and has a folding technique that allows it to be extended to almost six times its size, creating a sculptural piece that makes it possible to fully see the scenes of the occupation of Prague and the inside of the pages with the back of the snapshots.