Contact Us

The Russian Revolution Centenary: 1917-2017 Politics, Propaganda and People's Art


The Revolution began in Petrograd (today's Saint Petersburg) and it eventually spread throughout the territories of Russian Empire. One must also note that the revolution took place while the Russian Empire was involved in the WWI.

While this revolution ushered in an epoch of unprecedented cultural, political and social changes, it was also followed by the counter-revolution and the civil war. Millions of lives were lost as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, shepherded by the Bolshevik faction of the Social Democratic party, consolidated its hold on power and the territory through the conquest that was interpreted as the implementation of the Socialist doctrine of Marx, and Engels under the guidance from Vladimir I. Lenin. While this narrative is generally known to the larger world through the propaganda that ensued after the formation of the USSR in 1924, there are other but equally important alternative narratives as compared to the sanitized version of the Stalinist propaganda. Please note that during the Stalin's purges all of these members with the exception of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin were killed as a part of the Great Terror. These seven Politbureau members were Bubnov, Kamenev, Lenin, Stalin, Sokolnikov, Trotsky and Zinoviev. In this section, the curator is also highlighting the recent publications of UC Berkeley's faculty members. In order to contextualize the Russian culture, I have included a clip of a lecture by Professor Yuri Slezkine that is entitled, "Bolshevism as Russia's Failed Reformation."