Holiday viewing: early Soviet Central Asia posters

This isn’t a news story but a visual offering from me to you for the holiday season. My MA thesis was on the relationship between art and the state in the early Soviet period in Russia. Continuing my interest in this theme, it’s a delight to share these wonderful and often rather radical designs with you. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Соли Нав Муборак, Жана Жылыныхбен, Жаны Жылыныздар Менен, С Новым Годом and so on. See you in 2014!

All images sourced from (; all images (c) Mardjani Foundation or the State Central Museum of the Contemporary History of Russia (SCMCHR).

“Strengthen working discipline in collective farms” – Uzbek, Tashkent, 1933 (Mardjani)

“Peasant: Don’t elect these people. They were your enemies and remain your enemies” – Tajik, Tashkent, 1920s (Mardjani)

“Through their strong union, workers and peasants destroy oppressors” – Azeri, Baku, 1920s (Mardjani)

“Life in the East was slow” – Russian and Azeri, 1920s (Mardjani)

Two years of the Bolshevik Revolution – Kazan, 1919 (SCMCHR)

Tatar Club – Tatar (Arabic and Latin script), Moscow, 1935 (Mardjani)

“Don’t leave your bed earlier than 7 days after delivery” – Russian and Tatar, Kazan, 1927 (SCMCHR)

“Who doesn’t work doesn’t eat” – Uzbek, Tashkent, 1920 (Mardjani)

“Water soil and it will feed you” – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1920s (Mardjani)

Urging peasants to speed up cotton production – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1920s (Mardjani)

“Work hard to produce locomotives!” – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1920 (SCMCHR)

For the Soviet East: 10th Anniversary of Red Army – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1928 (SCMCHR)

Despite the rise in mechanized farming, “we cannot dispense with the horse” – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1933 (Mardjani)

“Workers and Peasants: Don’t let them destroy what was created over 10 years” – Russian and Uzbek, Tashkent, 1927 (SCMCHR)

Lenin calling for hard work – Kazakh, Tashkent, 1933 (Mardjani)

“Female Muslims: The tsar, beys and khans took your rights away” – Azeri, Baku, 1921 (Mardjani)

One thought on “Holiday viewing: early Soviet Central Asia posters

  1. Pingback: Holiday viewing: Universities in Soviet Kazakhstan | Emma Sabzalieva

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