Everybody who is even slightly familiar with Russia has learned to consider Lenin monuments a common sight. The legal successor of the USSR has just over 1,100 towns and cities and approximately 6,000 Lenin monuments. On the contrary, pretty much everybody would stare at one in Germany with much surprise.
Having worked in a few and visited countless others, Sam Hurn explores the ideological transformation of museums in post-socialist Central and Eastern Europe.
The universe of early Soviet children’s literature is now accessible thanks to a digitilized collection of Princeton University Library, opening a world of absurd humour and dry moralism.
“If you’ve got a goal, you can actually achieve it here … All the same, I think my motherland is there. However good it might be here, I still know that.”
Nesting dolls, drawers, lamps: Prefab panel estates have become an inspiration for designers from Poland or Slovakia. Rachel Ling looks at what is behind this new trend.
“Their mistake is our opportunity to show people what they did”. William Dunbar uncovers the grim history of 22 Ingorokva Street, Tbilisi’s former Bolshevik secret police prison. The only tangible link with the Red Terror in Tbilisi today, Number 22 might soon be replaced by a modern apartment block. One former resident can save it: Giorgi Margvelashvili, Georgia’s president.
On her trip to Murmansk, RETROGRAD editor Johanna Pruessing came across a rare nuclear fossil: “Lenin”, the iceabreaker. Although significantly stronger than their fuel-powered counterparts, nuclear icebreakers were a unique Soviet invention built to cross the Arctic water’s in the North of Siberia.