Cultural Features of Stalinist Russia

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Cultural Revolution 1928-1932

  • Used arts and popular culture to root out all bourgeois culture and construct a new Soviet culture which reinforced socialism and the ideas of the party and Stalin while introducing the new idea of Socialist Realism
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  • Writers who were part of the RAPP- later known as Union of Soviet Writers in 1932 had to make sure their works promoted the ideas of the proletariat and the Govt.
  • Any writers who refused to do this would have their works banned and not published as they were deemed for being too bourgeois
  • Stalin described writers as the "engineers of the human soul" in that it was there job to promote proletariat culture and literature
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  • State press and newspapers within the Soviet Union were all controlled to carry less information
  • Often told what to put in newspapers and so had a narrower range of views
  • They would include articles that promoted the industrial proletariat such as quoting over-exaggerated FYP figures
  • In essence the state press became a propaganda tool for the Soviet Union
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  • By 1930s film also became heavily controlled by Stalin
  • Between 136-37 68 films were withdrawn in mid-production and 30 that were released were replaced with ones that would produce a record pf Soviet history from 1917 onwards and promote socialism by focussing on workers and their lives such a s movies like Battleship Potemkin and October
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Paintings and Architecture


  • Abstract art was to be abandoned in favour of socialist realism- images of the workers and peasants together, working for socialism
  • Paintings had to be constantly updated to reflect upon these values and remove anyone who purged


  • "Stalinist baroque" was used which used gargantuanism such as Moscow University and the Moscow Underground
  • All buildings promoted the ideas of socialism and giant statues of Stalin were also built- cult of personality 
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