Soviet Propaganda Revamped To Show LGBT Strength
By Connor Durkin
He's everyman—or at least the man of many men's dreams. He stands in front of a solemn, yet proud, group of compatriots. His hair swoops to the side, his biceps bulge, and he holds up a rainbow flag. Using Photoshop, the tumblr page Pride Propaganda transformed this domineering Soviet illustration, along with many others, into a stark symbol of LBGT strength.
“My hope was to show support for the LGBT community in Russia and the rest of the world, while spreading awareness about the outrageous treatment of these groups in Russia recently,” the page's creator, who wished to remain anonymous, responded by email.
Conceived during the Constructivism art period and the Space Race, the original propaganda shows strong and rather beautiful men, women and children spreading Soviet pride and innovation. Yet the insertion of rainbow flags modernizes these images to confront current social disputes.
Now, one piece shows a muscular man dressed in overalls jumping to the Moon, bringing the pride flag along for the ride. Another shows a handsome family—mother, father and son—standing together. Words printed across the propaganda read, "A father should be proud! #pridepropoganda."
“I started thinking about the ban on gay propaganda, and the ironic fact that a country with such a rich history in the field of propaganda would ban propaganda,” said the creator. “I looked at propaganda posters, and quickly realized that they all portrayed extremely proud, strong, and happy citizens holding the Soviet flag. The idea was just very clear at that point.”
"I felt like I had to do something to show support and spread awareness about the issue," he continued. The project, like so many others, confronts the mistreatment of the LGBT community and athletes within the country and current Olympic Games.