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Titanic Tile Murals of the Proletariat

Grandiose Soviet Art off the Streets of Karaganda

“Art belongs to the people”—Lenin (quote on the wall in the above-right image)

So many relics and reminders of the USSR on the streets of any post-Soviet city—the impossibly gargantuan apartment complexes, the above-ground pipe dreams weaving about town like a rusty, rabid nervous system, the soda-water machines offering a refreshing beverage in a clean-ish glass for 5 kopeks.

But nothing beats the massive public-art projects, particularly the tile work making use of the vast concrete canvases on the ends of awkwardly large buildings.

Many of these are slowly disappearing, either destroyed in reconstruction projects or covered over by enormous ads for Nescafe and mobile phone companies. It seems such a shame to lose any of these romantic remnants of a world characterized by failures, depressing, derelict public works projects, and an astonishing commitment to shades of gray.


  1. Caitlin

    Oooh, love that first pic, the quote, and the little window of blue sky at the bottom!

  2. We denfliteiy need more smart people like you around.

  3. It’s really great that people are sharing this information.

  4. Też mi skandal, a gdzie byli rybacy (fundatorzy tablicy) gdy ta była rozbita. Cicho siedzieli i czekali aż gmina naprawi. Następnym razem niech się zajmą swoją własnością bo to rybacy są właścicielami pomnika.

One Trackback

  1. By Carrying On in Karaganda | Expat Monkey 25 Jun ’12 at 12:31 am

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