Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Harvest of Photos

You never know what a visit to the antique market here in Kyiv (where I'm back for a month or so, working on some museum projects) will bring.   Yesterday's visit brought a harvest of photos related to--well, harvests!   And although our interests are primarily in Ukrainian food today,  these photos provide important context and make me realize how much we have to learn.   In particular, you'll notice that most of these are of collective farms in villages, reflecting the policy of forced collectivization that began in the late 1920s under Stalin--ostensibly to increase food production, but of course, primarily to increase control over villagers.   A goal was to increase mechanization of food production--with equipement like the tractor shown below.  What the photos also show to me is the richness of Ukraine's landscape and the variety of crops produced here:  wheat, corn, sugar beets, pigs, and more.
And as this final photo was explained to me by the seller, it shows a propaganda brigade, dressed in traditional costumes, that would go out into the fields, singing and encouraging a productive harvest.  More details welcomed and encouraged about any of these photos!


  1. I hope you get a chance to see "Земля" (Zemlya), a 1930 Soviet film by Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko.

  2. Thanks--I just looked and see that I can see the film on Youtube so I'll take a look. Appreciate the recommendation!