Posters in this group focus on ecology, family, housing, education, health, and public service. The Soviet Union has shown an increased awareness of critical environmental problems, and a willingness to tackle these serious issues. in 1988, Tass announced a joint resolution of the Politburo and the Council of Ministers for the radical reorganization of environmental protection in the Soviet Union under a unified protection agency. Construction of a number of large government projects has been halted because of concerns for the environment, and the state is developing ambitious plans for cleaning up pollution and restoring the environment. Diplomats in Europe credit the spirit of glasnost for the great progress in devising cooperative measures to deal with environmental concerns. An equally sever problem is national shortage of housing. Much existing housing is substandard, and often several families must share a single apartment. To address this pressing need, the government has set a goal for every family to have minimally satisfactory housing by the year 2000. While earlier posters attempted to give the impression that problems in the Soviet Union were nonexistent, these posters reflect the new spirit of openness in acknowledging existing problems, and a recognition of their urgency.
The Soviet Union’s first clinic for diagnosing and preventing AIDS opened in Leningrad in March 1989, although a center for testing AIDS had already been operating there unofficially for two years.
Every student–an individual
The yellow comb is a play on the well-known saying “ You can’t comb everyone’s hair the same.” the word at the top of the comb reads “school.” the figurines represent the ten levels of public school and symbolize the development of the child through the school years. Soviet schools up to the present stress conformity through the strict discipline and rigid rules. (The average student spends 4-5 hours a night on homework.) This poster makes a plea for treating students as individuals.
Concern (caring)–its work.
A young man is supporting (taking care of) an old building with the help of a sculptural figure. The message is that the restoration and preservation of historical architecture in work, but it is important work. (Honorable mention)
Family! Let there be happiness in it, And let work, the raising of children, love, and peace in your home contribute to it!
The acute housing shortage of the Soviet Union has been recognized as a factor in the disintegration of family life. Half of all divorced young couples cite the same reason for the breakdown of their marriage-there was nowhere to live. Early Bolshevik leaders at first assaulted the family as an anachronistic bourgeois institution, though later the government changed its views on family life. The government has now officially recognized the destructive stress of increasing social pressures, including urbanization and modernization, on families. For the first time in history, the Soviet government has given constitutional protection to the family, as well as improving maternity benefits and increasing stipends for low-income families.
Levshunova, Date unknown
For each family by the year 2000
A photograph of a wall with announcements from people looking for better apartments to “trade-up” to. The telephone numbers have not been taken because there are no flats available. The white house appears ghosted over the photograph like a dream. The reference is to the government’s goal of providing housing for all citizens by the year 2000. In order to achieve this goal, it is estimated that the Soviet Union needs to double its present housing supply, building 40 million units. (Honorable mention)
According to UNESCO if present tendencies continue to the year 2000, the amount of arable land will shrink by a third, the area of virgin forests by twice that, between 500,000 and one million animal and plant species will disappear, and the human population will increase by 150%.
Mankind is pictured as a greedy pig destroying the world, which is represented as a juicy orange with its peel scattered about. The poster reflects two folk sayings: “Many know less about food than a pig does about oranges.” and “Humans are not pigs; they’ll eat anything.”
Comrades, let us urgently save everything that we breathe and live by.
The crocodile creature wears shiny shoes that represent authority and government, and its body is composed of cities and factories spewing forth pollution as it devours the small, clean village.
Don’t rush to discard what needs to be saved!
The hand holds a broken fragment of historic architecture. The theme is a plea to protect and restore historic buildings, rather than destroy them.
Our account is number 707
(First prize, Soviet arts competition)
The baby on the left has been given up by an unwed mother. The child to the right has been taken away from unfit parents by the courts. On the piece of paper in the baby’s cap in the middle photograph is written “our account number is 707, “a plea for support for the Children’s Fund. The poster probably dates from 1987, when the Children’s Fund was set up to combat infant mortality, create more family-style homes for orphans, help the handicapped, and care for cancer and psychiatric patients. In its first year it received 43 million rubles in contributions. A long tradition of concern for children without families is echoed in the old saying “Don’t build seven temples; raise seven orphans.”
A satire on the perennial desire for material possessions. Four heads represent stages in life. The word “give” is coming from each of the open mouths. The words on each head read, in part: drums, kitty, candy (baby); dog, ball, watch, bake, cartoons (child); cigarettes, clothes, VCR, guitar, disco (young adult); Mercedes, prestige, career, travel, yacht, vacation house (adult)