ResearchBib Share Your Research, Maximize Your Social Impacts
Sign for Notice Everyday Sign up >> Login

Comrades in Arts: The Soviet Dekada of National Art and the Friendship of Peoples

Journal: RUDN Journal of Russian History (Vol.19, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 78-94

Keywords : Dekada of National Art; Friendship of Peoples; Soviet republics; cultural production; cultural consumption; 1930s; national cultures;

Source : Download Find it from : Google Scholarexternal


This article examines the dekady of national art, a series of Soviet festivals fi rst staged in the mid-1930s to highlight the cultures and artistic accomplishments of the various non-Russian republics of the USSR. The institution of the dekada, I contend, made considerable contributions to Soviet nationbuilding eff orts and the construction of multiethnic culture. The article unfolds in three sections. The fi rst relies on archival documents to trace the origins and evolution of the dekada of national art in the context of its bureaucratic home, the All-Union Committee on Arts Aff airs. The second draws largely on periodical sources to consider the ways in which the larger currents of Stalin-era culture are refl ected in the dekady of national art and, in particular in the national operas that served as the centerpieces of the dekady. The fi nal section turns to the Friendship of Peoples campaign, identifying one aspect of it - that Soviet citizens appreciate not only their own national art but the art of other Soviet nations - as central to the dekady. Analyzing the public rhetoric surrounding the dekady, I identify several themes that emerge and their implications for forging a common pan-Soviet culture. I conclude that it is not only national cultural production, but the consumption of national cultural products by a multiethnic audience that is central to nation-building on multiple levels as well as a means to unite the ethnically diverse Soviet people, and that the dekada festivals aimed to bring the Soviet nations closer together by providing them an opportunity to consume one another’s cultural products.

Last modified: 2020-08-04 06:25:15