These graphic workplace accident prevention posters reflect a point in the history of Russia that was bloody, sorrowful, and full of violence and loss.
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Oleg Atbashian, a former citizen of the Soviet Union who moved to the United States in 1994, doesn’t recall ever seeing these horrifying-to-the-point-of-being-comical posters. Atbashian worked as a metal worker apprentice at a large Ukrainian factory when he was a teenager and later, as a visual agitprop (agitation and propaganda) artist specializing in posters directed at construction workers. Atbashian was in the right place; just at the wrong time
Indeed, Atbashian’s USSR of the 1970s was quite a different place from the fledgling “communist paradise” of Lenin and Stalin. “They (the posters) reflect the zeitgeist of a completely different, less sensitive generation of Soviet citizens,” explains Atbashian, “who were so used to being disciplined, humiliated, and terrorized by the authorities that the least of their concerns would be to question some silly presumptive posters that described them as a herd of bumbling idiots being gored by machinery.” Geez Oleg, tell us what you really think!
See more of the posters here!
How did the posters make you feel? Would you like to have similar posters in your workplace?