BETWEEN SOCIAL AND SOCIALIST REALISM: THE AESTHETICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE CONTEXT OF SOVIET PROPAGANDA (ON THE EXAMPLE OF THE PHOTO CLUB «ZAPORIZHYA»)

Keywords: photo club «Zaporizhia», photography, socialist realism, Soviet ideology

Abstract

The aesthetics of photography in the context of Soviet propaganda is studied on the example of the activity of the photo club «Zaporizhzhya». On the basis of photographic material, interviews, memoirs of Zaporozhye photographers, as well as newspaper articles, the period under study, the tasks set by Soviet ideologues for photographers were studied. The authors came to the conclusion that with the help of propaganda pictorial information in the Soviet state a picture of artificial reality (dreams, illusions) was created, which had nothing to do with reality. Photographers were required to depict the collective image of a Soviet man. Photographs in the direction of social and psychological realism were criticized, condemned and could be a verdict for the artist. Social realism primarily depicts reality. The reality in the Soviet Union was different from official images. So, it is extremely rare for exhibitions to feature photographs showing elderly people, tired workers, glamorous beauties, and entertainment works. Photo Club «Zaporizhzhya» was established in 1963. The club soon became famous not only in the USSR but also abroad. This fact is evidenced by participation in exhibitions and prizes in competitions. In the article, we traced the fate of the founders of the Zaporizhzhya photo club after they published banned photos. R. Baran was banned from exhibiting his works after being shown a portrait of the artist O. Zalyvakha (an artist who was in Solovki at the time under Article «Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda») and was expelled from the club. After photo-recording the consequences of the explosion on Red Square in 1967, the state authorities confiscated all materials from O. Burbovsky and further controlled his activities. Self-expression, personal vision of the artist gradually becomes real only from the time of perestroika.

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Published
2020-12-27
How to Cite
Grusheva, T., & MozghovaО. (2020). BETWEEN SOCIAL AND SOCIALIST REALISM: THE AESTHETICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE CONTEXT OF SOVIET PROPAGANDA (ON THE EXAMPLE OF THE PHOTO CLUB «ZAPORIZHYA»). Zaporizhzhia Historical Review, 2(54). Retrieved from https://istznu.org/index.php/journal/article/view/924