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Impact on the Arts

Modern History (Year 12) - Stalin's Cultural Revolution

Ben Whitten

Impact on the Arts

The arts and cinema were affected by Stalin’s cultural revolution. Many old paintings were destroyed during this period as well as being vandalised, and some galleries began to label their exhibits according to the class origins of the artists. There was a growing emphases on the proletariat background of artists, and many former non-proletariat artists were attacked, such as Kazimir Malevich, a Russian avant-garde artist who was arrested in 1930 and died 5 years later. The Literature of Russian Association of Proletarian Writers, a radical left-wing organisation, become the dominant force in the arts sector. They controlled Soviet writers to fight non-party writers who did not follow ideologies of the party. Socialist construction and class struggle had to be at the heart of literature, and for some writers it was too much; by 1932, the RAPP was abolished and the intensity of the Revolution dissipated. In regards to cinema, an article “We have no Soviet Cinema” in 1929 accused filmmakers of doing nothing for the workers and peasants. The principle task of film in Stalin’s cultural revolution was now to raise the culture of the masses and films had to be straight forward and realistic about collective farms and crèches, and must be useful.

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