Updated at 22:10,27-11-2020

Belarusian Protesters Reimagine Soviet-Era Art

Rferl

Belarusian Protesters Reimagine Soviet-Era Art
Belarusian crowds are repurposing Soviet propaganda posters in their countrywide protests against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

1. An image of Belarusian opposition politician Maryya Kalesnikava projected onto an apartment block clutching a torn passport and standing in front of some flowers. The text reads: "Masha, the motherland is calling!"

The ripped document is in reference to Kalesnikava reportedly tearing up her passport as Belarusian authorities attempted to deport her from Belarus on September 8.

2. That opposition poster is derived from this iconic Soviet recruitment poster from World War II declaring “the motherland calls” and featuring a woman holding the Soviet soldier’s oath.



3. Lukashenka depicted on a playing card adorned with the colors of Belarus’s Soviet-era flag, which the long-serving authoritarian ruler adopted for the country's flag in 1995. The "B" apparently stands for the Cyrillic word "valet" (jack, or knave).



4. That playing card placard may be inspired by this famous poster from the early days of communist rule in Russia referencing a sailor’s rebellion in Kronstadt, near St. Petersburg. The Kronstadt rebellion was an uprising against Lenin’s Bolsheviks. The uprising was brutally put down by the Red Army and more than 1,000 sailors were executed. The poster suggests duplicity by the sailors, declaring: “The Kronstadt card is beaten.”



5. Women protesters hold a sign referencing the authoritarian rule of Lukashenka and declare: “Lukashism is the most vicious enemy of women. Everyone rise and fight.”



6. That sign is a play on this famous Soviet wartime propaganda poster declaring “Fascism is the most vicious enemy of women. All rise to fight fascism!"