We just stumbled upon these homoerotic Chinese-Russian Communist propaganda posters that look like a gay couple’s vacation pics. Or maybe an ad for interracial gay marriage, as Melissa Sartore, Associate Professor of History at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, points out.
In October 1949, Mao Zedong announced the creation of the People’s Republic of China. China and Russia had long been allies and now, as communist states, that relationship was more important to both countries than ever before.
Communist propaganda has always been an integral part of that particular political structure, and Chinese-Russian propaganda attests to how much each country wanted to show the world they had a united front – China and Russia walking hand-in-hand, happy and gay, so to speak. The posters they used to get this idea across, however, may have been a bit too literal.
China and Russia are two extremely homophobic societies, but that didn’t stop the designers of these Communist propaganda posters from accidentally creating such fabulous artwork. The physical closeness seen in the images wasn’t meant to be a sexual one, of course, but rather was meant to be representative of the importance between the two communist cultures to stay close politically.
“The designers of these posters didn’t realize how homoerotic they were, which is pretty mind-blowing,” says Sartore. “Tunnel-visioned on convincing people within Russia and China that cooperation and closeness was essential to survival, the posters include physical connections between men, meant to represent the larger political relationship. Activists for gay rights in both Russia and China find inspiration in the posters, using the images in their own propaganda campaigns.”
We captioned these Russian-Chinese communist propaganda posters with sound bites you could easily hear on any gay couples’ vacation.
1. “Make sure you can see the doves! They’ll get us more likes!”
2. “You only touch me like this for photo ops.”
3. “We’ll talk about your attitude problem when the kids are sleeping.”
4. “Finally … a masc pic for our Hornet profile!”
5. “I told you you’d get hot! Now I’m stuck carrying your coat all day.”
6. “We liked Call Me By Your Name as a film but preferred the book a bit more.”
7. “I swear, Justin, this is our last Atlantis Cruise. We’re too old for these theme parties!”
8. “I’m trying to find the fucks I give that you’re mad at me, but I can’t seem to find any.”
8. “This dance class has helped me work through some of our trust issues.”