Menu Content/Inhalt
PDF Print E-mail

The Living Newspaper was born during the Civil War in Soviet Russia from the live reading of the newspapers to the (mostly illiterate) soldiers. It became a powerful propaganda tool aimed against the enemy. The idea that there is no neutral news can be originated from that time. The Blue Blouses cultural movement appeared in 1923 and had its origins in the tradition of the Living Newspaper genre as well. But it was focused already on a different aim: exposing shortcomings after the War. The Blue Blouses performances combined avant-garde theatre principles, folk traditions, cabaret and circus. The initiator of Blue Blouses was a professional journalist, Boris Uzhanin, who organised the first Blue Blouses' performance in autumn 1923 at the State Institute of Journalism in Moscow. The name referred to the costumes of the participants who were dressed in the blue blouses and black trousers or skirts with special badges. The blue blouse was a recognisable attribute of the worker represented on Soviet posters. The Blue Blouses movement was based on the activity of self-organised amateur actors who attacked the weak points in the Soviet society. The movement became extremely popular. It had different names. In Leningrad the Blue Blouses group appeared, for example, under the name of "Construction", in Tbilisi it was called "Screw", in the medical institutions it sometimes was called "Doctor's smocks", in the villages "Red Shirts", in the mines it was named "Red Miners". The best authors such as Mayakovsky, Aseev, Tretykov and many others wrote for the Blue Blouses. In the beginning of the 1930s, the movement ceased, the Blue Blouses groups broke up. In the 1960s, however, the idea was resurrected as verbal journals. It became most popular among students and pupils. This new movement gave birth to KVN (The Club of Cheery and Smart People), the most popular TV program in the 1970s. Later the Living Newspaper tradition was transformed into the very original artistic idea of "Pirate TV" that appeared in Leningrad in 1990 (performer Vladislav Mamyshev Monroe, camera man Yuris Lesnik, producer Timur Novikov). "Pirate TV" was an artistic project that created very effective alternative news (in spite of the fact that it had no access to TV channels at that time). In the 1990s, also the "Kabinet" live readings started, they can be considered as a different kind of continuation of the Living Newspaper tradition.

< Prev   Next >