Stalin Collectivisation Essay

525 WordsDec 17, 20133 Pages
Towards the end of the 1920’s and early into the 1930’s, Stalin’s Russia went through a vicious agricultural revolution as the government began to centralise the country’s farming communities. In order for Stalin to gain the support of the farmers and general public he recruited Nikolai Mikhailov and instructed him to make a poster, showing how through the strength and solidarity of the farming communities could overcome the Kulaks and other oppressive institutions, such as the local orthodox churches. While the Kulaks had previously held control over the farms, Collectivisation would allow the peasants to cut out influence Kulaks had held over their produce, as well as embracing industrialisation and mechanisation. The poster illustrates that by collectivising the farms, the lower classes would be part of an exclusive ‘club’, one which would unite them and allow them to stand up against the oppressive ruling classes. The powerful female figure, standing over the Priests and Kulaks while menacing holding a rake aloft, potentially as a weapon, subtly promotes that force and solidarity would overcome the tyrannical ruling classes. Furthermore, as tractors file into formation in the background it plays up the importance of the army in Russia as well as modernisation and mechanical revolution in Russian agriculture. Mikhailov could potentially have used a woman as the protagonist of the poster to appeal to a wider audience due to the fact that farming in Russia during that period was primarily a family run endeavour. In 1929, a poster by I. Meshcheriakov, “Na kollektivnuiu rabotu” (To Collective Work) was produced and is often regarded as pioneering, setting the template for other artists to use. You can see visualisations similar to Mikhailov and many other artists of the time. “To Collective Work” shows men and women cheerfully going to work in the fields and 80

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