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thumbnail of a child between two parents at odds

Divorce in the Soviet Union

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One of Mikhail Gorbachev's most famous reform movements was 'glasnost' (openness), which allowed partial freedom of the press to address social problems and corruption within the Soviet Union. Among the issues raised during the 'glasnost' era were previously forbidden subjects such as the high rate of divorce. An example of this is the following poster, with its plaintive cry from the child in... Read More »

Drug Abuse is Suicide

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One of Mikhail Gorbachev's most famous reform movements was glasnost' (openness), which allowed partial freedom of the press to address social problems and corruption within the Soviet Union. Among the issues raised during the glasnost' era of the Soviet Union were public health concerns, which became a prominent issue by the late 1980s. Drug abuse, for example, could be publicly discussed for... Read More »

Environmental Activism in the Soviet Union

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On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine led to the radioactive contamination of the surrounding countryside and to radioactive fallout throughout Eastern and Western Europe. In a test of the new Soviet policy of glasnost' (openness), Soviet authorities acknowledged the disaster, though only after Western countries had traced the radiation source to... Read More »

Festival of National Unity, 14 July 1939

Festival of National Unity, 14 July 1939

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In this celebration of national unity, the focus on 1789 is quite apparent. The Phrygian cap at the top of the decorations recalled the Revolution, as did the date for this celebration. Of course, both symbol and date had been used and appropriated repeatedly since 1789, but this is a clear reference to the 1789 event. A "Popular Front," leftist government was in control and saw its origins in... Read More »

For Them We Have Already "Voted"

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March 1989 election poster for the nationalist "Sajudis" movement in Lithuania, wryly alluding to the Soviet leaders pictured here - Stalin, Molotov, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev - whose rule had been imposed on the Baltic countries since World War II and ratified through sham elections.

[description as stated in the guide for Goodbye, Comrade: An Exhibition of Images from the Revolutions... Read More »

Friends of Lice and Caricatures on Wall

Friends of Lice and Caricatures on Wall

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Photograph of the "wall newspaper wall" in the first section at the White Sea - Baltic Sea Canal Camp. It includes a number of propaganda elements, including a poster of the "Friends of Lice," and caricatures of idlers and "fake shockworkers." Lice were an omnipresent source of discomfort for many of the prisoners in the camps.

Goodbye, Comrade...

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Of all of the East Central European revolutions, only Romania's turned violent. After government security forces killed protesters in the city of Timisoara, violence broke out between the army and the secret police, with the army standing by the protesters. Following a failed speech in the main square of Bucharest on December 21, 1989, Prime Minister Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife were hunted... Read More »

Grafitti from the Romanian Streets, December 1989-January 1990

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In February 1990, the ethnographer Irina Nicolau and a few friends, printed 250 copies of Ne-a luat valul [On the Crest of the Wave], the first book published in Romania about the 1989 Revolution. Included were 141 pieces of graffiti from December 1989-January 1990. This brochure was produced by Nicolau in 1999, when she served as director of the Museum of the Romanian Peasant established in... Read More »

It Must Not Happen Again (1)

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One of a set of posters reflecting glasnost-era exposès of the crimes of the Stalin era - including collectivization, purges, and the gulag. The quotation from Pravda (5 April 1988) reads: "The guilt of Stalin, as well as the guilt of those around him, toward the party and people for the mass purges [and] lawlessness [they] committed is huge and unforgivable."

[description as stated in... Read More »

It Must Not Happen Again (2)

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One of a set of posters reflecting glasnost-era exposès of the crimes of the Stalin era - including collectivization, purges, and the gulag. The quotation from Pravda (5 April 1988) reads: "The guilt of Stalin, as well as the guilt of those around him, toward the party and people for the mass purges [and] lawlessness [they] committed is huge and unforgivable."

[description as stated in... Read More »

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