Ioseb Gashvili Poster, dated 1940

Ideology, Propaganda and Gender

Images of Women on World War II Posters
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Soviet visual art provided women a variety of ideologically acceptable roles during World War II. A quick glance at the artistic trends from 1941 to 1945 (the period of the beginning and the end of the Eastern Front) is enough to see several features of a woman's image: a woman affected by the war; a warrior woman; a mother urging Soviet citizens (children) to go to war; a woman who is forced to master the "masculine profession" of her father / brother / husband who went to war, and a woman with national symbols. Images of all these types of women have appeared on posters, canvases, and movie screens. The aim of these images, of course, was to raise the fighting spirit and strengthen the invincibility of the Soviet state by using female visuals. It can be said that the image of a woman has become an important tool of propaganda.

The aim of this research paper is to study the images of women depicted on posters published in Georgia from 1941-1945. It is noteworthy that the classical, artistic analysis of visual art has an important role in this study. Such analysis involves discussing the composition of the image, including: the description of the poster, the relationship between the figures and the background depicted on the poster, as well as the representation of the meaning of the color and the font. 

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Date of Publication
Heinrich Boell Foundation Tbilisi Office
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Table of contents

Abstract 3
Introduction 5
Research Framework 6
Methodology 7
Literature Review 8
Research limitations 11
Soviet Ideology and "Women's Emancipation" 12
The Significance of the Poster for Soviet Ideology  13
Woman as a Victim 16
A Woman on the Batterfield  18
Mother's Face Iconography  21
Woman on the "Home Front"  23
The Image of a woman and National Symbolism  26
Victory over the Enemy: Changes to the image of a Woman  28
Conclusion 30
Literature 31
Appendix 32