Is it worth the effort?

Going into this reading, I am sure we were all probably not surprised to find out how heavily involved the Soviet government was in theatre. We’ve already seen countless examples of government officials meddling in cultural practices. On page 83, Fowler says, “The GPU was actively involved in culture not only to suppress but also create a Soviet artistic culture.” In this chapter, we see the great lengths the Soviets go to suppress bad culture and create their own, but was it worth it from a Soviet perspective to pour all these resources into censoring theatre (or anything else related)? Personally, I’ll say yes since theatre can have such a profound impact on society. When it is good enough, people start to really discuss the contents. What does everyone else think?

2 Replies to “Is it worth the effort?”

  1. I would agree that it was worth it to invest a large amount of resources into theatre from a soviet perspective. It seams as though it was an important goal of the USSR to establish a new Soviet Ukrainian culture in the former Imperial Southwest which became the Ukrainian SSR. To make this happen I think it would be necessary to create new literary programs in the region, since as Fowler explains the theatre network of the Russian Empire collapsed during the civil war.

  2. From what we know about Soviet policy, it holds that they would heavily censor artistic expression; however, as a “modern” sort-of-educated human, I think their censorship was a net negative to their agenda. The “taboo” has always drawn people in (ask Foucault), so with heavy censorship they give birth to an artistic underground. I think in terms of soviet policy, they would have been better off ruining intensive promotion campaigns for the art the liked instead of censoring the art they did not. Simple way: Promote the good/great and do your best not to drawl attention to the bad/different.

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