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Graphic Satire in the Soviet UnionKrokodil's Political Cartoons$
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John Etty

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820525

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820525.001.0001

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Krokodil’s Hollow Center: The Performance of Affirmation

Krokodil’s Hollow Center: The Performance of Affirmation

(p.161) Chapter Seven Krokodil’s Hollow Center: The Performance of Affirmation
Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union

John Etty

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter investigates the reasons for, and implications of, the apparent absence in Krokodil's affirmative cartoons of positive character types, including Soviet political leaders. Without overstating their significance, it traces their "absent presence" by considering how, even when Soviet leaders were physically absent, their presence was still implied. Consequently, since images of those at the centre were so rare, we may describe Krokodil's affirmation of Soviet ideology visual discourse, de-centered. A performative reading of Krokodil's cartoons about ordinary citizens enables us to interpret the journal's own performance of its own acts of engagement with all the dominant popular-official themes of the Thaw era, notably the Space Race. By analyzing the graphic construction of cartoons affirming Soviet ideology from the post-Stalin period, we may understand more fully the magazine's performances of memory and critiquing present and past achievements.

Keywords:   Absent presence, Political leaders, Affirmation, Space race, Memory

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