A great look back at Soviet futurism

This summer, the Barbican is mounting Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction. As part of that, they will be displaying some rare Soviet-era sci-fi collectibles from the seminal Tekhikia – Molodezhi magazine, according to a great overview by It's Nice That.

Per author Alyona Sokolnikova:

Magazines like T-M played a key role in the development of the wider genre of science fiction due to their ability to disseminate new ideas effectively among a large amount of people. In 1934, the first All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers was held. At this event, the genre of science fiction was exclusively defined as 'literature for young people'. It described the genre as that which necessarily focused on the 'scientific and technological education' of mass readers 'in the spirit of socialist realism'. This turn towards socialist realism marked the end of the avant-garde experiments of the 1910-20s; and thus evolved a more pragmatic genre of a science-fiction essay, as that which went without a literary plot. 

For the most-part, sci-fi illustrators of the period had an engendering background that helped them to develop detailed and captivating images of the socialist future. Their main concern was on futuristic technologies which would help the Soviet Union to take control of the Earth's natural riches and resources and to build colonies on other planets. Extraterrestrial civilisations were often depicted as friendly to the Soviets while foreign spies, imperialists and capitalists were routinely depicted as threats and enemies.

A Soviet vision of the future: the legacy and influence of Tekhikia – Molodezhi magazine (It's Nice That)