Monday, August 13, 2007

Fast train coming!

The train goes from the Socialism Station to the Communism Station

Sokolov-Skalja P. P., 1939

Powerful allegories are a distinctive feature of the poster art. This poster is aimed at general audience including the most down-to-earth people.

The header says “The train goes from the Socialism Station to the Communism Station”. Below there is a slogan “The experienced driver of the Revolutionary Engine – Comrade Stalin”. On the left margin there is a schedule of the Bolshevist Train with stations passed though: Iskra (official newspaper of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, established in 1900), Russian Revolution of 1905, Pravda (the chief newspaper of the Soviet Union, established in 1912, note that the name is written in the same font as the original newspaper’s header), the October Revolution of 1917 and Socialism – no year specified. To the right there is another schedule showing the way the train is currently covering – moving from Socialism to Communism stations.

The interpretation of original Marxism and works of Vladimir Lenin have been altered by every political leader of the Soviet Union. This was due to the impossibility of carrying out the main Communism principles. In the Soviet times the country was living in two dimensions – the real one, where people were working hard, making industrialization a reality, and the fiction other – where the bright future life has almost worked out well. This is why the Socialism and the Communism stations on the poster have no year of arrival. No one dared asking about the exact time, because the goal was still far ahead.

This logical dissonance was well masked by the train itself. This is a famous JS-series (IS) train, named after Joseph Stalin. This was a powerful and fast engine with 3500 horsepower and cruising speed of 115 km/h. In 1932-1942 642 of these gorgeous machines were built. In 1938 an experimental aerodynamic train based on JS-model reached 155 km/h speed mark.

The fast-moving train on the poster not only showed the progress the country had made, but also promised great achievements to come. And according to the soviet propaganda it was the only man who could guide the country forward - Joseph Stalin, along with the great theorists of Communism - Lenin, Engels and Marx (pictured on the red flag).

Get a hard copy!