The Book of Veles
220 x 165 mm, 148 pages
65 images, 19 reproduction of historical pages
Hardback with thin boards
Cover with satin silver foil on a fake leather material
The provincial North Macedonian town of Veles placed itself on the world map as an epicentre for fake news production during the US presidential election of 2016. Tech-savvy local youth created hundreds of clickbait websites posing as American political news portals and may very well have contributed to the election of Donald Trump.
Bendiksen travelled to Veles to explore this unlikely hub of misinformation. In this new book, photographs of contemporary Veles are intertwined with fragments from an archaeological discovery also called ‘the Book of Veles’ — a cryptic collection of 40 ‘ancient’ wooden boards discovered in Russia in 1919, written in a proto-Slavic language. It was claimed to be a history of the Slavic people and the god Veles himself—the pre-Christian Slavic god of mischief, chaos and deception.
Bendiksen interweaves these two different stories in his own The Book of Veles, representing historical and current efforts at producing disinformation and chaos.