• Hardcover – 240 pages
  • Publisher: Editions Pyramyd
  • Language: French
  • Size: 26.5cm x 20.8cm
  • ISBN: 978-2350174822

Released in May 2020.   

A word from the editor:

Photographer passionate about abandoned places, Jonk has traveled all over ex-Soviet Eastern Europe to immortalize traces of another time.
From East Germany to Ukraine, via Hungary and Bulgaria, he surveyed these neglected areas and came across many “time capsules”.
Mines, military bases, theaters, schools, and even hospitals are all places in which Soviet communism was embodied. So many places carrying strong symbols, working-class mottos, political figures. Bunkers from another age, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, military schools tell us about the 20th century in their own way.

A word from the author:

To be touched by a place, I need 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 I am in what I call a time capsule, get the impression that time has stopped for years, for decades.

With time, my interest has focused on those places on which only time had an impact.

Among them are what seems to me the strongest in the abandon 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 that 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 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 I have been lucky to photograph.

Goodbye Lenin is my fifth book where I present a selection of photographs realized during sixteen trips between 2015 and 2019.

I 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.


“In this series of photographs, Jonk has managed to capture the feeling of a stopped time, where communism reigns, where Lenin broadcasts from banners and the red star still burns on the cracked paint.” AD Architectural Digest (translated from Russian) 

“The album is a fascinating record of the photographer’s journey around the former Eastern Bloc countries.” Label Magazine

“After Jonk’s book on the monuments of the former Yugoslavia, this time this French photographer focused on the remains of Soviet architecture throughout the Eastern Bloc. This is how the book Goodbye Lenin was created with fascinating pictures such as a dilapidated theater on which a quote from Lenin is written in Cyrillic: “Art belongs to the people”, and there is also a photo of strategic maps of the attack on Berlin taken at the headquarters of the Soviet forces in East Germany. However, one of the most notable photos is the one on the roof of a building in Pripyat in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with a metal structure ending in a hammer and sickle.” Grandnja (translated from Bosnian)

“Jonk doesn’t take the easy way out. He travels to reach the most secretive witnesses of history that one would like only to forget. He immortalizes the mementos of a bygone era that we want so badly to banish from our memory, while on the other hand, we return to it so often. We want to forget the socialist shadow and the wraiths on Moscow’s orders, but at the same time we don’t want to let go of a certain sentiment, a memory. It’s like with a disliked family member – it tires, wears us out and annoys us, but nevertheless it is close to us, it is family after all.” Onet Kultura (translated from Polish)

“Jonk, a Parisian photographer, is a lover of abandoned places. A true globetrotter with a passion for world history, he has just published a new book entitled Goodbye Lenin, featuring photos taken throughout Eastern Europe. From East Germany to the Ukraine, via Hungary and Bulgaria, he visited old theaters, bunkers and many other paces to capture political symbols such as Soviet frescoes and the architecture so particular to the period. A colossal documentary work that will be appreciated by all lovers of the Soviet era.” Beware (translated from French)

“Jonk assures us that Goodbye Lenin is the first photobook on Soviet aesthetics that “reveals this degree of completeness”. And he wants the reader to travel back in time. “Bon voyage to the USSR!” ” P3 (translated from Portuguese)

“As in his previous works, Jonk has not only visited this part of the world, but has made a journey through time to reflect how its history refuses to disappear despite the passing of the years. In the theaters, military bases, schools or homeless hospitals that he immortalizes in his beautiful photographs, the Soviet footprint and communism is still present, although forgotten and deteriorated. An abandoned footprint, but one that never left and that this artist has rescued in his book.” Yahoo (translated from spanish)

Goodbye Lenin bears both historical and aesthetic witness to a world that once was. Between industrial archaeology and ideological disinheritance, Jonk’s beautiful images bear witness to these ‘brother countries’ which, from industries to landscapes, from military sites to community facilities, have been shaped according to the canons of the ‘Big Brother’.” Lignesdevie.ch (translated from French)

“A bygone era, printed, illustrated and narrated with rigor.” Le Monde de la Photo (translated from French)

“In his search for abandoned military barracks, bases and settlements in Eastern Europe, photographer Jonk has opened up a veritable time capsule: twelve countries, from the former GDR to the Ukraine, some fifty buildings and public spaces, for a single, great thrill, that of history with a capital ‘H’. So you can leaf through these relics of Soviet times with your fingertips, holding your breath a little.” Architectures à vivre (translated from French)

“Jonk is first and foremost a lover of abandoned places where nature reclaims its rights. He travels the world in search of them, as if to give them a second life through his photos. Jonk’s photographs reveal a special atmosphere, steeped in history. In his latest book Goodbye Lenin – Soviet relics in Eastern Europe, the artist reveals another of his passions: Soviet relics. East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Chernobyl… for almost four years, Jonk roamed Eastern Europe in search of these witnesses to another era. As always, nature is present, but no longer plays the leading role. In a way, it is the backdrop for these “time capsules”, to use the photographer’s own words. Thirty years after the implosion of the USSR, the author plunges us into the Eastern bloc, inviting us to contemplate his images that tell the story of a part of the twentieth century, made up of strong symbols, working-class mottos and political figures. VICE took a little history lesson with Jonk.” Vice (translated from French)



“Jonk is now becoming an established name in urbex photography, abandoning the tagged walls for the monumental.” Cédric, Fnac (translated from French)

“The content is very good, the photos are extraordinary.” Totinus, Amazon  (translated from French)

“The pictures are great, I love them. It’s not in Spanish, but it doesn’t have much text, it can be translated with app.” Natalia, Amazon (translated from Spanish)