Amid the chaos and violence of the 1905 Revolution in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II's opponents printed and distributed vast quantities of picture postcards. Easy to share, hide and smuggle, postcards were a way to beat the censor and spread a message of defiance. Produced by a diverse set of revolutionaries, liberals and opportunists, the content of these cards is equally wide-ranging: from satirical caricatures directed against the government to rare photographs of early revolutionary demonstrations. Many are darkly humorous, combining laughter with a sense of raw indignation at the injustices of life in Imperial Russia.
Tobie Mathew spent six years in and out of the Russian archives researching his new book on the subject: Greetings From The Barricades – the first major study of the design, production, and distribution of anti-tsarist postcards.
In this talk, Tobie will offer an illustrated overview of opposition postcards under the Tsars, showing how this vibrant new form of communication served to spread revolutionary belief and disrupt the Imperial status quo.
Tobie Mathew is a writer and historian specialising in Russian graphic art and propaganda. He has previously lived in Almaty, Kiev, and Moscow, where he spent three years working as a journalist for The Associated Press. He is now based in London.