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11.05.14 Rhett Jones

Animal Farm is a book that almost every American has to read in school, and it probably comes as no surprise that the reason for its ubiquity is propagandistic in nature. The US government was so taken with Orwell’s anti-Soviet communism allegory that they produced the famous animated film adaptation of the novel. Edward Howard Hunt was […]

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06.16.14 Marina Galperina

Under Communism, the Russian city of Zarechny did not officially “exist.” The public wasn’t informed of such “closed cities” until 1986, with more than one million people having lived in places that were not even on the map. Slowly, they are being “opened up.” Photographer Ksenia Yurkova, featured in The Calvert Journal, went to Zarechny to document the daily life […]

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04.11.14 Marina Galperina

They were “The New Artists” of St. Petersburg, an underground collective operating out of communal apartment in the early 1980s, influenced by German Expressionism, Pop Art and Primitivism. The collective was founded by artist/philosopher Timur Novikov, attracted the likes of Brian Eno, Andy Warhol and John Cage, and sprouted the sexually ambiguous and homoerotic “New Academy” movement. The work and […]

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07.09.13 Marina Galperina

There was one and only one photography magazine for photography in the Soviet Union — Soviet Photo. Admittedly, Soviet propaganda generally looks sweet. Amp up the Constructivist aesthetic over some tight floral pattern and that shit’s timeless to hommage over and over and over again — amirite, Shepard Fairey? But if you’re an amateur or professional […]

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06.25.13 Marie Calloway

On an episode of a conservative radio show, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) compared sex education classes in public schools to life in [a cartoonishly exaggerated dystopian version of] the Soviet Union. Apparently, teaching teenagers about contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases in school is somehow the same as parents surrendering all control over their children’s lives […]

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02.20.12 Marina Galperina

“This summer, a new wave of cinematic psychosis washed over American movie theaters,” starts off this film review from 1977. Oh boy. Want more? See what else comrade Yu. Varshavskaya thought of Star Wars, it’s “primitive plot” and “Artu-Detu” that “looks like an automobile and expresses himself with ‘space’ signals.” […]

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11.04.10 Marina Galperina

Space and arms races have nothin’ on this, because in 1987, the Soviets had Photoshop! Watch the rotary scanner rolls, magnetic tape whirs and self-populating pixels as they digitally restore cracks and tears from a photo of some ancient fur-capped warriors. […]

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08.19.10 Marina Galperina

Fifty years ago today, the Soviets sent two street mutts into space. Belka and Strelka were the first living things to go into orbit and return still living. The Slavs have been gloating ever since. The furry space race winners are so beloved, that their actual pooch corpses are preserved in a museum through the […]

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