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“Kingdom on Wheels” oil on canvas, September 25, 2019

25 Sep

“Kingdom on Wheels” oil on canvas, Sept 25, 2019

Jake Carman

1919-2019

 

Kingdom on Wheels-Jake Carman.jpg

Throughout the summer of 1919, the revolutionary peasants of south-eastern Ukraine streamed westward across the country. Ukrainian peasant-anarchist Nestor Makhno had recently stepped down from his position as commander of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine, which was at that time a division of the Russian Red Army. The Bolsheviks, however, were currently ridding themselves of anarchist leadership in their army. They pursued Makhno and arrested and executed many other anarchist commanders. The Red Army in Ukraine did not regard the impending invasion from the monarchists and traditionalist military officers mobilizing in the Rostov and Don regions.

The Russian White Army, pushing north through Ukraine on their way to restore their flavor of Russian government, destroyed villages, and tortured, raped, and murdered Ukrainian peasants. The White offensive surprised the Bolsheviks, who abandoned Ukraine. The Ukrainian peasants in the Red Army mutinied, bringing whole divisions, ammunition, weapons and other supplies, to reform the independent Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine. These anarchist fighters joined the peasants in seeking out Makhno. Together, they all marched west.

The viscousness of the White Army’s repression of the peasants sent whole villages onto the road. Arhnov writes that “Makhno’s retreating army was followed by thousands of peasant families who abandoned their villages, bringing with them their livestock and their belongings. A veritable migration stretched over hundreds of miles. A vast ‘empire on wheels’ followed the army on its march west ward…this enormous mass of refugees spread throughout the whole of Ukraine. Most of them lost their homes and belongings forever; many lost their lives.” For four months, throughout the entire summer of 1919, this migration retreated 600 kilometers beneath the dust clouds. Each day, the insurgents held off assaults from the White Army forces in pursuit.

Finally, on the evening of September 25, 1919, Makhno turned his horse around. There was no where left to retreat. It was time to attack. Makhnovist cavalry charged the White Army at Kruten’koe. The shocked invaders turned and fled. The following day, peasant revolutionaries holding the village of Peregonovka, defeated the entire White Army group. The counterrevolutionaries routed in panic. Hundreds were cut down attempting to cross a river, hundreds more, later discovered hiding in the woods, faced the vengeance of the peasants who discovered them. This was a disaster for the White Army’s push on Moscow: The entire White leadership was captured, and all of Ukraine, including the supply lines from the south into Russia, was lost. In just 10 days the Insurrectionary Army had raced back across the 600 kilometers and liberated Gulyai-Polye. By the following month, anarchist society in Ukraine had reached its peak: the Free Territory now a region of Ukraine home to 3 million people.

This painting depicts the “Great Retreat”, or the “Empire of Wheels” of the summer of 1919, and in particular the moment when the anarchists turned around to fight the White Army on September 25, 1919. Today in 2019, one hundred years later, it feels as if we revolutionaries, and humanity in general, have been on a long retreat of our own. It is time now to turn and face the enemy.

(A subsequent painting will feature the battle of Peregonovka. I may share some sketches soon.)

Update on diorama work regarding the Spanish Revolution and Civil War – July 19, 2019

19 Jul

 

83 years ago today, Spanish soldiers, directed by nationalist generals in revolt against the socialist Spanish Republic, left their barracks on a march to install a right wing government, launching the Spanish Civil War. Waiting for them in alleyways, stair wells, balconies, and behind newly-constructed barricades in many cities and towns, were anarchist and other revolutionary workers and peasants. That the laborers took the initiative to oppose the march of the army, when even the legitimate government did nothing, is the only reason why there was a Civil War in the first place. In the vacuum of power created by the action of working class people, those working people took to recreate the world around them, even as they fought a multi-front war against the fascist army and its Italian and German allies at the front, and the power hungry socialist and communist politicians–and their comintern handlers–at the rear.

Below are some early efforts of mine to build a couple of dioramas, one of the July 19th storming of the Barcelona Telephone Exchange by CNT workers, another of the Durruti Column which formed in the following days, to liberate the “Second City of Anarchism,” Saragossa, and spread anarchist-communism across Catalunya and Aragon in its wake.

These are works in progress, I hope to have something completed a year from now. I also hope that one day these pieces will join other dioramas, art, and information at a future Museum of Freedom covering many revolutions and movements for liberty and equality the world over. If you have a building your looking to give away…get in touch!

More to come!

6th of December – New Music Video

7 Dec

To celebrate the 9th anniversary of the Greek Insurrection of December 2008, we release unto you our 4th music video, the 6th of December. For news, music and art from Greece today, checkout http://voidnetwork.gr/

 

Image

Art Gallery

7 Feb

Kingdom on Wheels-Jake Carman

 

New Music Video

6 Sep

Hey friends, check out this new music video my band released yesterday:

Playing music at the Bread and Roses Festival!

1 Sep

Hey friends, I’m excited to say that our band, Jake and the Infernal Machine, is honored to play at this year’s Bread and Roses Festival up in Lawrence.

Check us out, it’s this Monday! We’re playing 3:30pm at the Robert Frost Stage
http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/

Show Nov 21

6 Nov

Hi all,

Long time no post. I have some new paintings I’ll soon add to this site thanks to Max B. Also come check out the band at this record release show for our friends, the amazing Absinthe Rose. Hope to see you there

-Jake

ABSINTHE ROSE RECORD RELEASE SHOW and

BENEFIT FOR MERWIN MEMORIAL FREE CLINIC FOR ANIMALS!

with JAKE AND THE INFERNAL MACHINE & TROLL 2

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 21st @ CAMBRIDGE ELK’S LODGE

Facebook Event page

https://www.facebook.com/events/1081346188542997/