Proletkult (Russian: Пролетку́льт, IPA: [prəlʲɪtˈkulʲt]), a portmanteau of the Russian words “proletarskaya kultura” (proletarian culture), was an experimental Soviet artistic institution that arose in conjunction with the Russian Revolution of 1917. This organization, a federation of local cultural societies and avant-garde artists, was most prominent in the visual, literary, and dramatic fields. Proletkult aspired to radically modify existing artistic forms by creating a new, revolutionary working-class aesthetic, which drew its inspiration from the construction of modern industrial society in backward, agrarian Russia.
Although funded by the People’s Commissariat for Education of Soviet Russia, the Proletkult organization sought autonomy from state control, a demand which brought it into conflict with the Communist Party hierarchy and the Soviet state bureaucracy. Some top party leaders, such as Lenin, sought to concentrate state funding and retain it from such artistic endeavors. He and others also saw in Proletkult a concentration of bourgeois intellectuals and potential political oppositionists.
At its peak in 1920, Proletkult had 84,000 members actively enrolled in about 300 local studios, clubs, and factory groups, with an additional 500,000 members participating in its activities on a more casual basis.
Proletkult was seen as a primary vehicle for the development of this new “proletarian culture.. The task of the ‘Proletkults’ is the development of an independent proletarian spiritual culture, including all areas of the human spirit — science, art, and everyday life. The new socialist epoch must produce a new culture, the foundations of which are already being laid. This culture will be the fruit of the creative efforts of the working class and will be entirely independent.
All that was required, it was assumed, was for one to study basic artistic technique in a very few lessons, after which anyone was capable of becoming a proletarian artist. The movement by Proletkult to establish a network of studios in which workers could enroll was seen as an essential part of training this new cohort of proletarian artists.
More specifically, Lenin had profound misgivings about the entire institution of Proletkult, viewing it as (in historian Sheila Fitzpatrick’s words) “an organization where futurists, idealists, and other undesirable bourgeois artists and intellectuals addled the minds of workers who needed basic education and culture…”
Despite its formal termination as an organization, the Proletkult movement continued to influence and inform early Soviet culture.. Eisenstein was attracted to this movement because it justified the necessity of a complete break with the art of the ‘bourgeois’ world. All of his early films expressed, though in his own idiom, the ideology of Proletkult.
p4 – another art world
via mark fuller .. when asked him about ‘foot soldier of the international proletkult’:
@monk51295 part of an answer to your question https://t.co/tzrYO8KPSx
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/marekfuller/status/1442863496782249986
links to tweet thread from nika.. about yr lockdown.. then travel like crazy.. then:
But after that, I plan to go back to London, lock myself in my apartment, and finish the fourth part of my series with @davidgraber https://t.co/I2AoMgUA1G 2/
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1442809905270988803
links to an eflux journal.. via many authors.. which d&n have authored two issues: p1&3
which so far is mostly about the intersection of Proletcult and this text by David:
https://t.co/jdO68lJacd as well as the practical implications that could come about if we apply such social design to our reality. 3/
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1442810031259459587
links to david’s pdf on creative refusal
proletkult et al
from p3 of thread – mark tweet quotes:
This is the best intro to the Davids’ new book #TheDawnofEverything as well.