Culture and the Arts

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  • Culture and the Arts
    • Everything, even the Arts, was supposed to play its part in Stalin's 'Second Revolution'.
    • Under Lenin, there was great artistic freedom, and the 1920s regarded as a high spot in Russian cultural life.
    • Under Stalin art had inspired greater productivity, be a propaganda vechile for creating the new communist society.
    • Only approved writing could get published, music played, art displated. What was acceptable wasn't always easy to discern, as Shostakovitch discovered where Stalin went to see his oprea
    • Shostakovitch had written, Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk, Shostakovitch found himself cast as the villian instead of the hero.
    • Like elsewhere in the world, the cinema became a favourite place for entertainment in the 1930's.
    • There were propaganda trains that included travelling cinemas to take film to the rural areas, and cities and towns would have huge new cinemas.
    • All films were state-made, so fully reflected the views and wishes of the party, plying a vital role in propaganda as well as entertainment.
    • The press and the radio were given emphasis by the party. Most towns and cities had loud speakers set up in prominent places so people could hear Government pronouncements.
    • Even some villages were connected to the electricity supply so they too could receive radio broadcasts and be kept in touch with what the party wanted them to do and think. All media was totally controlled by the state.
    • Great efforts were put into controlling what people could read and see, to ensure it conformed to the wishes of the party. Of course, when the wished of the party changed, then this caused some problems.
    • From 1935 onwards a great effort was to portray Stalin as close to the people. Images of him were everywhere.
    • His birthday was a national celebration. Cities were renamed after him. When he spoke applause lasted for many, many minutes - no one wanted to be the first to stop applauding him.


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