The Russian Revolution of 1917 was an earthshaking event, the first time in history the working class and oppressed took power. It opened up a new era in human history. The Revolution inevitably had the most profound implications for art and culture, not only in Russia but worldwide. It shattered old ideas and relationships, and opened up enormous new possibilities. Soviet art and film of the early 1920s began to reflect these possibilities, before the rise of Stalinism violently cut them off.

Art today has reached an impasse, bound up with the general crisis of capitalist society. Dominated to a large extent by skepticism and postmodernist cynicism, along with gender and racial politics, very far removed from the conditions of life of wide layers of the population, art needs a new perspective. The lessons and experience of the Russian Revolution are critical in this regard.

David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, will discuss the impact and influence of the Russian Revolution on art and culture, and their meaning today.


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