kschnabel

Everybody’s a critic: Khrushchev’s thoughts on art

In 1956 Khrushchev brought the “thaw” to the Soviet Union. The thaw was a policy of de-Stalinization which relaxed censorship and released millions of prisoners from the Gulag labor camps. In the following year Khrushchev asserted the importance of art remaining in line with the Soviet realist style in his article, “For a Close Tie between …

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Vasily Aksyonov and the stilyagi movement

In the 40’s and 50’s and unexpected love of American culture blossomed in the Soviet Union. These young people were called “stilyagi.” The stilyagi were identified by their love of Western fashion and music. In Leningrad (and eventually Moscow) the stilyagi wore narrow trousers and long, unusually colored (by Soviet standards) jackets. They also wore …

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Central planning meets film: The censorship of a mass medium

In the Soviet Union, the 1930’s were characterized by massive state-led transformations in agriculture, industry, and culture. The revolution in culture represented a shift away from aesthetic values that existed in the previous decade. This shift did not occur on its own, rather it was carefully implemented by the state. In 1930 the Soyukino, a …

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Mounting tensions cause setbacks for the Bolsheviks

1917 was characterized by massive change within Russia. Two revolutions took place in this year: the February revolution and the October Revolution. The February Revolution was triggered by riots over food shortages and bread prices on International Women’s Day. The revolution resulted in Tsar Nicolas II’s abdication, which officially put an end to the Romanov …

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A shifting world captured in an industrial town

From 1909 to 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii embarked on a journey commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II to capture the Russian empire. With his innovative technique for capturing colored images, Prokudin-Gorskii was able to preserve a world that was beginning to change. In this particular photo, called Three Generations, Prokudin-Gorskii was able to capture a cultural shift …

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