Exhibition detail


Journey to the Velvet Revolution 1989 – Social posters from 1946 – 1990

Foyer of Cinema Světozor (23. 9. 2019 - 31. 12. 2019) —

This exhibition presents this sixty posters from 1946 till 1989, which document the journey of our country from the dark fiftees, through the Prague Spring 1968 to the Velvet Revolution in November 1989.

This selection presents so called social posters which documented, commented upon and promoted different layers of social lives in our then called Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and is concluded with the posters from the Velvet Revolution 1989.

The exhibition can be divided into four basic groups: Election posters, Political propaganda, Film as the tool of propaganda, and General social posters.

The election posters include both posters for the first post-war elections in 1946 as well as to the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and the following first free democratic elections in 1990. From this group we can highlight posters of the group called P5P (Pracovní pětka program) Volte komunisty from 1946 and rarity posters by Josef Lada We vote for the candidates of the National Front and Everyone to the polls from 1954 and 1957. And of course also the iconic Velvet Revolution posters (rare poster Peaceful Christmas with Civic Forum by Michal Cihlář and typographic poster Spring 68 – Autumn 1989 by Aleš Najbrt.)

The Political propaganda. Poster was obviously a powerful weapon of communist regime. It sent massive volumes of posters to the streets on numerous occasions. The variety and creativity of this propaganda gems was truly multifarious: May Day / Labour Day, International Day of Children, International Day of Women, Czechoslovak Spartakiad, The Pioneer Movement, Union of Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship, Day of Miners, the Great October Socialist Revolution Anniversary, etc. The collection of Terry posters consists of more than thousand of such posters. Of those exhibited you cannot miss The best of us will be elected our deputies by Dagmar Sedláčková or “singing comic” by Jarolav Fišer Kramářská píseň o té veteši or Song of Kulak. The socialist advertisement posters were a chapter for itself, promoting possibly the only money bank in the country and its voluble slogans: Let us work and save money for even richer and more active life and Prosperity from work – satisfaction from savings.

Film as the tool of propaganda was frequently used mainly in 1950´s, either by the political orientation of films themselves (Anna the Proletarian, Far From Moscow) or film festivals, revues and other educational events that aimed the film solely towards the working class. This is documented by posters The Film Festival of the Working Class in Ústí region or The Soviet Film In the Month of Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship.

The Social posters document the life in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in a way that is to our today´s view somewhat humorous. We can sing now with Waldemar Matuška the song lyrics from poster It Is All Taken By Time and read out the names of the posters as the journey to the Velvet Revolution becomes clearer: The Electronics of USSR, Youth to the Playground, Tent Camping, The Mountains Are Calling, Uncle Jedlička, Balaton, Porta, Kučerovci, The Czech Garden, Jawa 350…

Three unique posters are completing this exhibition, as they were posted in Czech streets during the August 1968 invasion: Domoj, Moskow 1800 km and UN_SOS.