• Soviet Visuals

It was officially believed that the main socially significant decisions in the USSR were to be made collectively by Soviet citizens represented by councils of different levels (Soviet means "council" in Russian). According to Soviet constitution the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the "leading and guiding force of the Soviet society". Meetings, conferences and congresses were constantly held in all corners of the vast country. For the most part, these events were of a ritual nature, since the last word always remained with a limited circle of nomenklatura headed by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

"Lenin. Party. Komsomol. XIX Congress of the The All-Union Leninist Young Communist League in the Kremlin Palace" Photo by Yuri Lizunov, Moscow, USSR, 1982

"XXVI Congress of CPSU. We follow the party, glorifying homeland with our deeds. Lenin is all the time with us!" Soviet poster, 1981

Communist party meeting at a sobering-up station. Photo by Anatoly Semekhin, USSR, 1987

XXV Congress of the CPSU, 1976

Communist party meeting, 1972

"XXII Congress of the CPSU is the Congress of builders of communism!" Soviet poster, 1961

Deputies in the conference room of the Kremlin during the first session of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the eleventh convocation. Photo by Yuri Abramochkin, 1985

"Speech of the Party Secretary" painting by Kamil Shayakhmetov, 1972" postcard

Members of the Komsomol Young Communist League committee evaluating prospective candidates for "Miss Riga" beauty pageant, Latvian SSR, 1988

Komsomol meeting, 1970s

USSR People's Deputies are heading to the II Congress of People's Deputies in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, Moscow, USSR, 1989 Photo: Sergei Subbotin / RIA Novosti

"Get ready for the Party Congress!" Soviet poster, 1965

Communist party meeting. Photo by Vladimir Vyatkin, Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, 1982

Committee in charge of deciding which clothes could be sold to Soviet women, Moscow, USSR, 1947 Photo by Robert Capa

Politburo of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1986

  • Soviet Visuals

"Of all the arts the most important for us is cinema" Vladimir Lenin.

In Soviet Russia, some movies were banned by state censorship from being shown. Often, the reasoning behind the ban remained unknown. Sometimes, it was due to senior leadership’s dissatisfaction with the insufficient display of the role of the Communist Party. Signs of bourgeois influence or excessive sensuality in the film could also be a factor. The emigration of a director or featured actor often resulted in the banning and physical destruction of all copies of the film.

"Agony" historical drama film directed by Elem Klimov. Banned for 10 years. Released in 1985.

"The Formula of Rainbow" 1966 fantasy comedy film directed by Georgy Yungvald-Khilkevich. Never released.

"A Spring for the Thirsty" 1965 poetic drama film directed by Yuri Ilyenko. Banned for 22 years.

"Entering the Sea" 1965 avant-garde short film directed by Leonid Osyka. Never released.

"The Story of Asya Klyachina, Who Loved But Did Not Marry" 1966 film directed by Andrey Konchalovsky. Banned for 20 years.

"The Lonely Voice of a Man" 1977 drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. Banned for 10 years.

"Galya" 1940 drama film directed by Nadezhda Kosheverova. Never released.

"Intervention" 1968 adventure film directed by Gennady Poloka. Banned for 19 years.

"Trial on the Road" 1971 war drama film directed by Alexey German. Banned for 15 years.

"The Long Farewell" 1971 drama film directed by Kira Muratova. Banned for 16 years.

"While the Dream is Mad" 1978 musical comedy film directed by Yuri Gorkovenko. Banned for 10 years.

‎"Only Three Nights" 1969 romance/drama film directed by Gavriil Yegiazarov. Banned for 20 years.

"Homeland of Electricity" 1967 short film directed by Larisa Shepitko. Banned for 20 years.

"Commissar" 1967 drama film by directed by Alexander Askoldov. Banned for 21 years.

"Repentance" 1984 art film directed by Tengiz Abuladze. Banned for 3 years.

  • Soviet Visuals

Updated: Aug 17

In the USSR, wild mushrooms were a much loved and affordable delicacy. There were lots of ways to use them in meals: mushrooms were fried, baked, grilled, added as a filling for pastries and dumplings, marinated, salted and served as a snack to ice vodka. Sometimes, rumours about poisoning would go around, but every mushroom picker knew the right method

to distinguish safe mushrooms from poisonous ones. Anthropomorphic mushrooms were the characters of Russian fairy tales. In a famous 1991 televised hoax, Soviet musician Sergei Kuryokhin and reporter Sergei Sholokhov stated that Vladimir Lenin was a mushroom.

Illustration from "Mushrooms of the USSR" guidebook, 1980

Still from "Morozko" 1964 Soviet romantic fantasy film based on a traditional Russian fairy tale.

Marinated mushrooms by Andreevsky forestry enterprise. Photo by Viktor Akhlomov, Vladimir region, USSR, 1974

"Edible and poisonous mushrooms of the Central Black Earth Region", book cover, 1986

"Edible and poisonous mushrooms" booklet, 1965

Pencil holder, 1978

“Mushroom picker guide for the Northwest and Central European part of the USSR", 1985

"Mushrooms are a miracle of nature" booklet, 1966

Desk lamp, 1970s

"Tale of Mushrooms" booklet, 1924

Still from the 'Lenin is a Mushroom' TV hoax, 1991

"When picking mushrooms, save the mycelium!" environmental poster, 1965

"Polissya Robinsons" film poster, 1934

New Year tree decoration, 1950s

"Mushrooms" poetry book for kids, 1930

"Mushroom pickers" painting by Tatyana Yeremina, 1953

"Mukhomor" ( Amanita muscaria) art group: Alexey Kamensky, Sergey Mironenko, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Vladimir Mironenko, Sven Gundlakh. Moscow, 1981

"We are coming, we are coming - we’ll exterminate the entire bourgeoisie”

1924 illustration from children’s magazine Murzilka.

Mushroom cloud from RDS-1, the first nuclear weapon detonated by the Soviet Union. Semipalatinsk Test Site, 29 August 1949