Desiatiletie natsional’no-territorial’nogo razmezhevaniia Srednei Azii. 1924–1934 [i.e. Ten Years of National Territorial Delimitation. 1924-1934]
Moscow: Zhurnal’no-gazetnoe ob’edinenie, . Item #1511
80 pp.: ill., 10 plates with illustrations mounted. Leaves of tissue paper announce preserve the titles and artists’ names. Restored, otherwise very good.
A special Central Asian issue of the magazine “Ogonek”, a copy from a limited special print-run bound in red cloth with blind stamped lettering and plates. Extremely rare in this variant.
The issue was edited by Mikhail Kol’tsov (1898–1940). A skilled Jewish journalist Kol’tsov joined the Pravda newspaper as an essayist and editor in 1922 and soon afterwards founded the periodical, “Ogonek”, along with magazines “Chudak”, “Krokodil”, “Za rubezhom”, and “Sovetskoe foto”. He also became an initiator of publishing conglomerate “Zhurnal’no-gazetnoe ob’edinenie” that operated until the arrest of Kol’tsov in 1938. In 1936 and 1937 Kol’tsov participated in the Spanish Civil War as a correspondent for Pravda and an NKVD agent. He was likely executed as a witness to secret NKVD operations in Spain.
An introductory article about national delimitation was written by Avel Enukidze (1877–1937), a Soviet politician and a victim of the Great Purge. A Bukhara politician, Fayzulla Khodzhayev (1896–1938), suffered the same fate. His article about Soviet Uzbekistan was illustrated with separate pictures of the author and Uzbek politician. Yuldash Akhunbabaev, who survived the Terror.
Three people who were all executed in the toughest period of Stalinist rule was enough to limit access to this publication, or even for most copies to be destroyed.
The issue is devoted to the outcome of the process to specify well-defined national territorial units in Central Asia and their sovietization. Russia annexed a large amount of territory in Central Asia in the 19th century. Soon after the Revolution, the Bolsheviks resumed Russian control of the region. The process of national territorial delimitation lasted from 1925 to 1936 and four socialist republics were formed: Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz and Turkmen units. The traditional lifestyle of these territories was transformed and brought closer to Russia. Socialist values and rules were promoted, though national cultures were preserved as much as possible. One of the key points of this politics of the process was to liberate Central Asian women.
The book demonstrated crucial Soviet campaigns in the region. Among them is Vakhshstroi - the construction of the Vakhsh irrigation system in Tajikistan, which “turned a dead desert into a green valley” and facilitated the successful cultivation of organic cotton. Also Chirchikstroi, the construction of the Chirchik Hydroelectric Power Plant, the exploitation of which began in 1940. Celebrating Soviet successes in the cultural and economic development of the region, the publication boasts numerous photographs and photomontages of the socialist people of Central Asia, and its industry, education, sports, arts and technologies.
The internal design was by Avenir Chernomordik (1897–1991), known primarily as a poster designer and book illustrator who created printed matter for “Iskusstvo”, “IZOGIZ” and “Inturist”.
Pages were printed in two printing shops simultaneously: “Der Emes” produced text pages with black and white photographs, while “Pravda” was responsible for text pages illustrated with mezzotint imprints. An entire brigade of photographers was involved in the creation. The works by A. Shaikhet, S. Fridliand, B. Kudoiarov, M. Penson, A. Shterenberg, E. Mikulina, M. Gafiz, G. Zel’m, F. Fedorov were published. The plates feature works by artists N. Terpsikhorov, N. Karakhan, I. Gerasimov, U. Tansykbaev, P. Shchegolev and Usto-Mumin. They were probably produced by “Pravda” as well.