The Soviet propaganda posters of the 30s and 40s have always fascinated me, enough so that my favorite book about Soviet Russia, one I went back to again and again in my Russian Studies papers, is Iconography of Power by Victoria Bonnell. The book describes how the newly in power Bolsheviks used symbols and icons in order to create a false sense of unity within the disparate Soviet Republics.
So in light of my love of all things related to Soviet Iconography, I am beyond excited for the new exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago titled Windows on the War: Soviet TASS posters at home and abroad, 1941-1945. Featuring some of the most recognizable propaganda posters of the period like “The Motherland Calls” , “Save US” and “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” (see below), the exhibit will examine themes like USSR-USA relations and re-envisioning Russia’s historical past.
For more information on the exhibit please visit the Art Institute of Chicago’s website.
Almost a year ago today, I got on a plane headed for Russia without a visa– not an action I recommend. It was a character building experience and gave me the opportunity to both see Stockholm and nurse my wounded pride. Now, having spent the past year gallivanting around in New York City and letting my aspirations pass me by, I am making a second attempt at a life in Saint Petersburg. Today marks one month until my September 29th flight.
In the approaching days I have found my anxieties creeping up on me, consuming my thoughts at my most vulnerable times; mainly while lying awake at 5am, unable to sleep and thinking “what the hell am I about to do.” But this time everything will go smoothly. I have all the elements for my visa in order: formal invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry, enough consecutive blank passport pages, an HIV test and a tenacity to finally set foot in that city.
For the next month, I am going to be consumed with brushing up on my subpar Russian, updating this blog, teaching myself to take professional quality photographs and becoming a social media maven. All in order to provide the most accurate, intelligent and engaging dispatches from the Russian Russian Empire.