Margarita Matulytė. Sovietinės fotografijos funkcijos ir specifika 1940–1953 m.
Straipsnyje aptartos pagrindinės sovietinės fotografijos funkcionavimo visuomenėje sritys: žiniasklaida ir muziejininkystė, atidžiau pažvelgta į fotodokumento panaudojimą sovietinio saugumo struktūrose. Kalbant apie fotografų likimus ir jų veiklą 1940–1953 m., apibrėžta bendra padėtis, detaliau išnagrinėti neskelbti faktai bei fotografų autobiografiniai dokumentai. Mėginta atskleisti fotografijos meno sovietizavimo esmę, nustatyti sovietinio piliečio fotoarchyvo ypatumus. (TĘSINYS ŽURNALE „GENOCIDAS IR REZISTENCIJA“)
Functions and Specifics of THE Soviet photography in 1940–1953
The article reveals specifics of the Soviet photography, explains methods and forms of propaganda work, and discusses the major public spheres where the Soviet photography functioned: mass media and museology, and takes a more accurate look on how photo documents were used in Soviet security structures. Talking about the fates of photographers and their activities in 1940–1953, a general situation has been defined clarifying the nature and motivation for their work. The article also gives a deeper analysis of unpublished facts and autobiographical documents of the very photographers. There was also an attempt to examine the mechanisms, volume and influence of the photo documents spread in the Soviet society, to reveal the aim for sovietisation of the photography art, estimate the peculiarities of the photo archive of the Soviet citizens.
Vast sovietization of the photography as of one sphere of art and culture took place in 1940–1953. Having suspended all creative processes and defined the forms and spheres for functioning, a very influential and effective propaganda means of Soviet ideology were appplied. Widespread photo documents had a direct impact on nurturing a new mind and mentality. Strategists of the Soviet ideology manipulated with the features of photo pictures – documentaries which reflected not the existing reality, but the forced idea of the new system created and implemented by the totalitarian state. Authorization of the photo journalism came up to expectations; the history of Stalin’s era formed by press in images has been completely positive.
Having penetrated into the methods of Soviet photo journalism, the Lithuanian photographers created semiofficials: they propagandized the Communists’ policy, glorified leaders of the party, and popularized the artificial heroism. Moreover, having employed montage, retouch, and pathetic comments, they produced fakes, also fudging reality and ignoring historical facts. Photos were used as the main means for illustrations to deign the Soviet model of history. They accounted for most exhibits in constant and temporary expositions in all Lithuanian museums which were targeted to make the image of the then Soviet present and form the prospect of the Communist future. Incriminating photo documents were particularly often used by the Soviet security structures for blackmail and recruiting, surveillance and accusation.
Developing the methods of Socialist realism, photography pictured only typical cases of reality, thereby giving credible reproduction of the totalitarian ideology. Information about events taking place in the world was blocked, possibility to publicize and exhibit creative experiments was limited. As well it was completely banned to develop and create individual style, to analyze and evaluate it in public.
The existing conditions, to be more precise, their complete restraint justifies the nature of photographers’ work. They created mass product sanctioned by provisions of the Soviet censorship, applying professional skills not for individual expressions, but to achieve the anticipated result.
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