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Post-election use of caricature in Putin fight-back

Very interesting article on Time Magazine's website including a reference to a deck of cards, produced by the Kremlin, with caricatures of the opposition leaders on the Jokers. Fascinating retaliatory use, creating a caricature war. I'd quite like a set of these cards, but in the meantime, there are some great images online.

These decks of cards have been handed out to supporters, turned into sandwich boards and worn around Moscow, turned into placards and taken on rallies, and now posted online.

Images via:

Very interesting phenomenon. Comes so close to Putin's accusations of US meddling in Russian elections, for one thing. For another thing, the caricatures are satirical, but not as biting as some of the anti-Putin imagery (not that they were especially vicious, especially compared with Krokodil). There are a large number of references to Russian/Soviet historical personalities in these images, which would be fascinating to analyse. It also reveals some interesting attitudes to the power of caricature. There may have been other instances as well, but this is reminiscent of the USA's use of the deck of cards analogy for those wanted for involvement with humanitarian crimes in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

More articles on the same theme here and here.


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Krokodil 1952: 11, p.1

Krokodil and Russian folklore

Krokodil cartoons very often employed folkloric characters and themes. Soviet graphic satire owed much to pre-revolutionary popular prints, and in some cases, Krokodil images were composed in the graphic style of Russian folk arts. In other cartoons, Soviet satirical commentary was enacted by Russian folk tale characters.
Russian folk characters were thus reimagined in a modern satirical context, and the combination of discourses created unique visions of both old and new. Stalinist folklore/'fakelore' (Dorson 1950) co-opted folk heroes in the service of the Soviet state, but Krokodil's use of these characters was satirical and thus markedly different.

Ded Moroz and Snegoruchka also commonly appeared in Soviet satire, celebrating the turn of the New Year, or warning about the change in seasons.

Countless cartoons visualised anthropomorphised animals, but a number of images also referred to less famous Russian folk tales.

Perhaps the most frequent appearances were made by …