Women in the Stalin Era

Ilic, Melanie J ORCID: 0000-0002-2219-9693 (2001) Women in the Stalin Era. Palgrave. ISBN 0333779304

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Melanie Ilic, ‘Traktoristka: Representations and Realities’ (in Women in the Stalin Era) On 8 March 1930 the front page of the industrial newspaper, Za industrializatsiyu, carried a cartoon picture with the caption ‘Dva mira … i dve molodosti’ (Two worlds … and two youths). The picture is divided into two. On the left side, a young woman is sitting smoking a cigarette. She appears tired and haggard, and is slumped with her elbows resting on a table on which there is a spilt glass of wine. There is an empty seat next to her, but in the background a well-dressed man, with top hat, monocle and cane, is seen walking away. This is in stark contrast to the picture on the right side, in which we see a joyful young woman, head held high, driving a tractor. On the same day, the front cover of Izvestiya also carried a line drawing of a smiling woman seated at the steering wheel of a tractor. In this picture the wheels of the tractor are crushing the vestiges (the pots and pans) of the ‘staryi byt’ (old way of life). These images provide a clear indication of the Soviet government’s intention to recruit women to the drive to modernise agricultural production in the 1930s. By the end of the decade, the female tractor driver had become both, in reality, a celebrated shock-worker and stakhanovite heroine, personified by Pasha Angelina and Mariya Demchenko, and, in cultural representation, a cinematic icon, played by Marina Ladynina in Ivan Pyr’ev’s popular film Traktoristy (1939).

Item Type: Book
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2014 11:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/57

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