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An Evening with Lenin

A movie night featuring two biographical films from the Library’s Special Collections about Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, made in Soviet-era Russia for Soviet audiences. Come and see the movies, learn how Ryerson acquired them and discuss their importance to the public archive.

Place: 350 Victoria Street, Room LIB72 (ground floor, across from entrance)
Date: Wednesday, April 7th
Time: 7pm, approximately 2 hours

The Films:
Lenin is Alive, 1969
30 minutes, Russian (with English subtitles)
Lenin’s Hills, 1984
20 minutes, Russian (with English subtitles)

10 thoughts on “An Evening with Lenin

  1. Thanks! The graphic was taken from one of the Soviet posters in Special Collections. We will have the original item on display along with other items from the collection for the movie night, and in Special Collections display cases on the 4th floor.

  2. I hate to be the spoilsport here, but why are we glorifying Russian soclialism with this poster? The hammer and cycle, like the Nazi swastika, should be seen as a symbol synonomous with oppression and murder.

    Lenin's successor, Stalin, murdured more than even Hitler. If you doubt the scale of the crimes commited in Soviet Russia, watch the documentary found at this link.

    There is nothing cool or glorious about the oppresive nature of Russian communism and the crimes commited under its watch.

  3. Just to add a little more context to my last comment: I don't mean to be rude or ignorant towards the people who organized this interesting event and I appreciate the historical value, I just want to be sure that we are not glorifying an ideology and government with so much blood on its hands and am suggesting that maybe this poster goes a bit too far.


  4. Lenin did a great service for human kind through his work on imperialism, the state and women's oppression and also through his political action in the RSDLP and the RCP(B), with these organizations aiding the Russian people in struggling for their emancipation from the Czar and being instrumental to the construction of the world's first ever nationally functioning workers' state, which represents a great achievement for all exploited and oppressed peoples throughout the history of our species.

    The hammer and sickle simply represents the alliance between workers' and peasants necessary for a socialist revolution and is used today by socialists throughout the world, some of whom are at the vanguard of current revolutionary processes, such as the one happening in Nepal, which overthrew the monarchy completely but is still struggling to achieve the very basic elements of bourgeois democracy that we enjoy here and which, as Trotsky importantly pointed out, can only be fully achieved in an underdeveloped nation through a social revolution that expropriates the wealth of the feudal landlords and the capitalists so that it can be redistributed in the interests of the peasants and workers.

    Also, there is a vast difference between Lenin and Stalin which everyone should carefully read up on and look into to understand the history of the Soviet Union and the history of the struggle of exploited and oppressed people for emancipation.

    Thus, the Lenin collection at Ryerson and this filming is very important, as we need to set the record straight about what actually happened in the Soviet Union.

    In addition, despite Stalin's crimes, many Jews wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for the Soviet Union, as they saved many Jews from the Nazis. Thus, to compare Stalin with Hitler and the swastika with the sickle in the manner you do is deeply offensive for anyone with a Jewish background or a working class background despite Stalin's definite anti-semitism and his political repression of workers and peasants.

    You really need to look at history in a more serious manner before making such offensive claims and accusations.

  5. On behalf of Ryerson Special Collections, I would like to assert that our intention with this poster and the movie night is to promote an open, intelligent discourse that neither glorifies nor diminishes the life and acts of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, but rather focuses on the content and distribution of Leninist propaganda within the Soviet Union. We accepted this collection in the hope that we would be able to learn from it. I thank both our bloggers for opening the discussion, and I sincerely hope that all who are willing and able to share their knowledge with the community will attend Wednesday's event.

  6. I don't think there is anything wrong with the poster, especially as it is part of an event that is examining propaganda. Equating the hammer & sickle with a swastika is a bit of a stretch. What about the flag of the People's Republic of China?

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