Item #1993 [DRAFT SUBMITTED TO CENSOR] Chernaia Afrika raspravila plechi [i.e. Black Africa has strengthened its shoulders]

[DRAFT SUBMITTED TO CENSOR] Chernaia Afrika raspravila plechi [i.e. Black Africa has strengthened its shoulders]

Item #1993

Tbilisi: [1967]. 85,5x61,1 cm. A very good condition. Several glue residues at the corners, the word “shavma” [i.e. Black] in the title is subtly crossed out by pencil, two ink and pencil inscriptions in Georgian “daibech’dos” [i.e. To be Printed], two stamps by the Art Department of the Art Fund of the Georgian SSR “Razresheno” [i.e. Permitted] and “Provereno” [i.e. Verified], all dated 1967. Bilingual. In Georgian and Russian. Ink and Gouache.

This original poster draft was designed by Loreta Shengelia-Abashidze (1942-) and submitted to the Art Fund of the Georgian SSR for the censorship check in 1967. The draft shows a Black man dressed in traditional African attire holding a gun against a yellow background, and a bilingual title [i.e. Black Africa Has Straightened its Shoulders]. In the draft, the censors crossed out the word “shavma” [i.e. Black], demanding its removal before further production. Later that year, the Art and Production Plant Propaganda Poster Workshop in Tbilisi printed the modified version of the poster. The officially distributed poster featured a different font color (dark blue/ black instead of light blue) and the revised text as required, reading “Africa Has Straightened its Shoulders.”
The poster celebrates the partial emancipation of African nations and stands as a distinctive piece of Soviet propaganda. From its inception, the USSR portrayed itself as a country with a compassionate attitude towards Black workers, distinguishing it from the capitalist world. Depictions of African and African American figures were commonly utilized in book stamp; poster designs throughout the Soviet era. However, such representations of Black people were exceedingly uncommon in the Georgian SSR, lending significant importance to this poster draft.
Loreta Shengelia-Abashidze is an Honored Artist of Georgia (1982), a graphic artist, and a painter. She graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1966, where she mastered the art of drawing under Lado Grigolia and Sergo Kobuladze. Loreta has illustrated numerous books, including “shushanik’is ts’ameba” [i.e. The Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik], “sibrdzne sitsruisa” [i.e. A Book of Wisdom and Lies], “vepkhist’q’aosani” [i.e. The Knight in the Panther’s Skin], etc. In addition to excellent graphic-art prints, Loreta has created a series of large-scale compositions and portraits using etching techniques. Since 1984, she has had solo exhibitions in Germany, France, Italy, and
Russia. She received the Grand Prix at the Union Exhibition of Etching (1991).

Overall, an extremely rare curious example of Soviet propaganda in the Georgian SSR.

Price: $4,500.00

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