Kharkiv: Kommunist, 1932. Item #1508
30x22 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. In very good condition. Small tear to front cover of #40, covers of #48 almost detached with fragments of edges lost, minor tears of edges.
Two issues of an early Soviet periodical for Ukrainian women demonstrating excellent experiments in design. The organ of the Central Office of Female Workers and Peasants of the Communist Party of Ukraine was written first in Russian (1921–1928) and then in Ukrainian (1929–1934).
Both cover designs are anonymous yet outstanding. Issue #40 shows a photomontage of Lenin’s head as a canon, and a full-body portrait of Stalin dressed in everyday clothes. Between them are a worker driving a tractor, the furnace of a factory-plant and the DniproHES. All components stand out against the red background.
Issue #48 carries a simpler cover design. It shows a female manufacturing udarnik (a super-productive shock worker) staring into a tire. Contrasting rectangles in the background resemble some well-known 1920s designs. The cover designs reflect a combination of Muscovite heritage and contemporary Ukrainian tendencies.
There is another well-made photomontage on the central double-page spread of issue #40. It combines furnaces of Ukrainian factory-plants, a constructivist workers’ club, the smiling face of a female udarnik (shock worker) and a broad view of the Dnieper dam. This hydroelectric station was considered a giant of industrialization, and perceived as one of the major victories over nature. It was with a sense of triumph that the dam was opened in October 1932, shortly before the 15th anniversary of the Revolution, and a photograph from the opening ceremony is included.
The magazine published articles on socialist women in various Soviet republics celebrating their liberation. For example, two female delegates from Turkmenistan were captured in traditional dress but without their veils. Other photos show workers eating in a cooperative canteen; and children sunbathing in a Soviet sanatorium. Both pictures were intended to demonstrate that the improved daily routine in socialist societies made women’s lives easier.
In general, this illustrated periodical demonstrated women’s contribution in socialist construction, and the equal labor rights of male and female factory workers. As well as promoting industrial achievements, the magazine explored other relevant topics. For example, there is also a photo of a female civil pilot who was actively engaged in the establishment of Ukrainian aviation and the activity of the Osoaviakhim society in particular.
Not found in Worldcat.