Censorship in The Soviet Union - Circumvention of Censorship

Circumvention of Censorship

Samizdat, allegoric styles, smuggling, and publishing abroad were used as methods of circumventing censorship.

For example, an underground library was functioning in Odessa from 1967 to 1982, which was used by around 2000 readers.

Soviet dissidents were active fighters against censorship. Samizdat was the main method of information dissemination. Part of the dissident movement was engaged in protection of civil rights. The first in USSR uncensored newsletter distributed through Samizdat during 15 years - from 30 April 1968 to 17 November 1983. Such organizations as the Moscow Helsinki Group or the Free interprofessional labor union were also engaged in similar activities.

There were cases of literary hoaxes, where authors made up a translated source. Poet Vladimir Lifschitz, for instance, invented a British poet named James Clifford, who allegedly died in 1944 on the Western Front. Vladimir published poetry which he claimed was written by James Clifford, but which was actually his own work.

One more method was so called "dog method". According it one should include an obviously ridiculous and attention-drawing vivid episode in the work. As a result, minor nuances went unnoticed. In this manner, a movie named The Diamond Arm was saved after the director, Leonid Gaidai, intentionally included a nuclear explosion at the end of the film. The Goskino commission was horrified and requested that the explosion be removed. After resisting for a while Gaidai removed the explosion and the rest of the film was left almost untouched.

One of the important information channels were anecdotes. Through this folklore form people often express their critical attitude to authorities and communistic ideology. Political anecdotes became widespread in 1960 - 1970. In 1980 a good anecdote propagated from Moscow to Vladivostok in three days.

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