Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Russian poster collection

The caption translates as "Let's Build Thoroughly!" As crappy as Soviet Russia turned out to be under Stalin, a lot of the graphics were sure marvelous. We could only dream of such empowered images of women here in North America in the 1930s.



SusanM said...
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SusanM said...

Rethinking my comment on these Russian illustrations: I thought initially, "Yeah, Jaleen's got a point, these are empowering illustrations".

On reflection, these women are being co-opted into manual labour as if this is glorious. I'm not so sure I like the implication. I am interpreting this from a 21st century point of view but I believe that's valid: to see the illustrations for what they really were.

Just a thought... after an enlightened comment from my SO.

Jaleen Grove said...

Yeah that's valid. It IS propaganda, after all.

But manual labour isn't really the matter here - manual labour was just a fact of life, and both men and women had to do it, so the fact women were being co-opted into it is not really an instance of sexism. The real problem is that all people were expected to do what they were told, and to support a system they didn't have a say in.

I still hold that the glorified image of the woman worker - a healthy woman, not a stick-figure - helped change people's perception of what women were capable of. My point was that depictions of physically powerful women were lacking in North America... until Rockwell did his Rosie flexing her muscle during the War. Now was that non- or less-co-optive imagery? If we grant that it was equally propagandistic, we excuse it as more positive just because the context is capitalism and women supposedly had more choice. But who is to say Russian women didn't like their Rosie-ova just as much? Even without choice?

Anonymous said...

There were also more glamorous poster designs in Russia, albeit aimed at the foreign market.



Noel said...

Hey im doing a history project on this poster here and would like to know what this poster really meant,why the Soviets made it and what is the picture trying to convey