Go Soviet at the CNE

There is a buyer for everything. Like these Soviet military souvenirs (ok, let’s call a tchotchke a tchotchke), which we spotted at a Russia booth in the international pavilion at the CNE. Best of all, they’re not even originals. There are enough customers to warrant reproductions. Some of the items looked genuine, but most were reproductions, like the flask with the poorly glued on military insignia (which barely even qualifies as a reproduction).

I understand the fascination with Soviet design elements, such as posters, that seems to burble up on the internets, even though what they actually say and represent make me ill. But I don’t understand what motivates people to buy into this form of military nostalgia. I don’t quite believe that it’s some misplaced sense of national pride, a reminder that we “won” the Cold War. Those days are long gone. And it’s not the same pretense at alternative culture and activism which spawned the Che consumerism army. Anyone who’s been through the Soviet or Russian military probably has enough reminders.

(The actual booth was considerably brighter and shinier—offensively shiny with nostalgia. So I’ve given it a slightly more appropriate dull vintage overlay.)

Soviet military souvenirs at the CNE in Toronto Soviet military souvenirs at the CNE in Toronto Soviet military souvenirs at the CNE in Toronto Soviet military souvenirs at the CNE in Toronto

© 2017 Lea Zeltserman