Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.
Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.
Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.
Yet another ‘six conditions’ poster on cheap paper, this time unsigned and undated. As the speech by Stalin from which the six conditions are taken was delivered on June 23, 1931, the poster post-dates this speech.
The poster appears to have been created in the early 1930s, as both the style and the Stalin portrait are of that time. The cameo format of the portrait places this poster within the tradition of informative and statistical posters of early Stalinism.
The poster shows scenes of industrialisation at the top and agricultural collectivisation at the bottom. The use of red fill denotes the socialist nature of this progress.
Strong diagonals among the industrial construction lead the eye to the medallion photographic portrait of Stalin. Stalin gazes directly at the viewer, appealing to them to adopt his six conditions.
The text of the poster reads:
Recruit manpower in an organised way, by means of contracts with the collective farms, and mechanise labour
Put an end to labor mobility, do away with wage equalisation, organize the payment of wages properly, and improve the living conditions of workers
Put an end to the lack of personal responsibility at work, improve the organisation of work, arrange the proper distribution of forces in our enterprises.
See to it that the working class of the USSR has its own industrial and technical intelligentsia
Change our attitudes towards the engineers and technicians of the old school, show them greater attention and solicitude, and enlist their cooperation in work more bravely
Introduce and reinforce financial accountability and increase the accumulation of resources within industry
Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.
Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com