Alcohol presents an exhaustive collection of previously unpublished, Soviet Anti-Alcohol posters. The book includes examples from the 1960s through to the 1980s, but focuses on those produced during the Mikhail Gorbachev campaign initiated in 1985.
Displayed in public places these posters attempted to sober up the Soviet citizen by forcing them to confront the issues associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This allowed the poster designers to present the anti-alcohol message in the most graphic terms. They depicted drunks literally trapped inside the bottle or being strangled by ‘the green snake’. Their protagonists always produce sub-standard work, are smashed when pregnant, neglect their families and present a constant danger to fellow citizens. These dangerous elements are paralytic freeloaders and shirkers who drive under the influence, they are violent, black-marketeers and desperate cologne drinkers…
An accompanying exhibition of Soviet anti-alcohol posters was held at Pushkin House, London WC1 from 23 March–13 April 2017. Photographed by Hugo Glendinning.