9,198 kilometres of tracks connect Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. As the longest railroad in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway is truly one of humanity’s most impressive engineering feats. But, this symbol of Soviet power has also had an outsized impact on the world at large. Its construction was the catalyst for a war between two superpowers, it transported millions of prisoners to the Gulags, and served as a lifeline during the Second World War.
Azerbaijan, the land of fire and authoritarianism. Azerbaijan literally translates to ‘protector of fire’, while the textbook definition of authoritarianism is its ‘president’, Ilham Aliyev. I spent three weeks in Azerbaijan, which was probably two weeks too many. Here is my list of places to visit...and avoid.
Ice Hockey was everything in the Soviet Union. The USSR national team dominated ice hockey on the international stage, winning nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament from the early 50s up until the fall of the Soviet Union. After the USSR collapsed, the money dried up.
Logos are the badge of capitalism. They distinguish one brand from its competitor. In the Soviet Union, the state controlled all aspects of production. Logos weren’t necessary. Yet, Soviet designers created them by their thousands. Rokas Sutkaitis, explores their hidden history in his new book.
In the 70s & 80s, the circus was used to covertly communicate Communist ideology to audiences. The most famous posters came from the Polish Poster School. Characterised by bright colours, striking typography and aesthetic playfulness, they were hugely influential in the later development of graphic design.