The final assignment for the camp participants was the creation of collages on the topic of “Uncovering Soviet Propaganda” by using default material from the Soviet era combined with their own creativity and fantasy.
The final assignment for the camp’s participants was to create collages on the topic of “Uncovering Soviet Propaganda” using their own creativity and imagination.
Добро Пожаловать/Welcome To (We Wish You Well)
“A red dove – symbol of the Soviet Union's peace: a red peace. Based on lies, on forced and twisted truths, on violence, on betrayal, on manipulation and red propaganda.
Добро Пожаловать to the unfolding of the Soviet Union's way of hiding the truth. Добро Пожаловать to the way the Soviet Union hid the music that it sang, created an illusion and put forward lies or half-truths.
In schools, pupils were encouraged to be obedient and to follow rules strictly. Freedom and individuality was discouraged from an early age. Everyone was the same: wearing the same uniform and thinking the same thoughts.
The Soviet ideal, the soviet perfect life was shown by putting forward the ideals: a Lada car, an apartment which would honour the leaders and the “Great” Soviet Union, a traditional family functioning like a part of a bigger organism – the state. The state was the reason for making sacrifices: from personal wishes, and your loyalty to your family or friends, to freedom.
In return, the state shielded you from the outside world, provided “equality”, made you believe you were part of the greatest nation ever – the one that even conquered the moon and the space. Iurii Gagarin, and many other scientists and political figures became the symbol of powerful USSR and tasted the „Родной советской власть“.
We could see how the state and the idea of socialism managed to creep into every single aspect of life – so much so that people became brainwashed with time, singing the same song that had been sung to them on a broken record for 70 years (1921 – 1991).”
By Raluca (Republic of Moldova)
The Soviet Woman
“In the newspapers, on TV and on different posters she was represented as being beautiful. Healthy, happy, and free. But in the reality she was the one who worked the most, cooked, raised children and took care of the house. The beauty of the woman was not in the way she looked or thought, but in the way she worked. She was controlled by men and Soviet rules. She was physically and psychologically abused if she didn’t respect the rules of men and the party, that is symbolised by the broken heart (made up of buttons), because there can’t be love where there are violence and ugly words.”
By Doina and Diana (Republic of Moldova)
Memories of the USSR
“We wanted to look at these years from our parents' and grandparents' points of view. Of course it was a kind of propaganda to a point, because it showed that while in the Soviet Union everything was good, life outside was bad. In this collage we collected all the elements that recall nostalgia but at the same time express the relief that it is all in the past. We took a short journey into the past and reproduced the propaganda from that time. Some might see some good things and others might see bad things, but the main idea is the fact that everything is already gone.”
By Liliana and Nicoleta (Republic of Moldova)
The Evolution of Propaganda
“With our collage we want to show the impact of Soviet propaganda on ordinary people's minds. The collage is divided into three parts. In the first one people were deeply influenced by the propaganda and became its victims. That meant that they were happy with what was going on. After some time, however, they began to feel confused and uneasy, dissatisfied with the situation in the country. And this is how the final part came about – the changes. They began demanding changes, protested against the government. During that time people understood the real intentions of the government and woke up to reality.”
By Hrachya, Hayk, Susanna, Seyran, (Republic of Armenia), Pavel (Republic of Moldova)
“The 'hero' (left) with a TV set for a head represents the power that propagates that the USSR is the best. With his sword the “hero” tries to divide the world into different parts – socialist and antisocialist. The differences between liberalism and conservatism are hidden by USSR propaganda. But you know that the most important right of a person is freedom and it is represented by a figure of a person trying to show the limitations and suppressions of the rights of people and countries by the USSR.”
By Lilit, Elina, Inesa (Republic of Armenia)
Peace for the Whole World
“We decided to make our own propaganda about peace in the whole world. Our work was inspired by our visit to the Parajanov Museum.
“Bad peace” is shown on the right and “good peace” on the left. "Bad peace" looks like our peace, where there are wars, the economy is in recession, people are divided and there is no friendship. That is the reason why there are many viruses and after that death. The governments think of creating violent weapons to destroy the whole world instead of encouraging partnerships.
"Good peace" is the opposite of the bad one. It provides peace for the whole world and we need to get closer to this peace. There should be friendship, freedom, one peace for all and a common economy and currency. And scientists shouldn’t think of destroying the planet, but develop it. And the most important detail of our work is the message “in the name of peace”. Today, when we see all that is part of this terrible peace we live in, out of which comes so much suffering, we hope we will live in "good peace" some day where there is real peace in the whole world.
By Ben, Ruben, Eteri, Ofelya (Republic of Armenia)