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The Soviet Union's Public Art Legacy

Across the former Soviet Union, colorful communist-era mosaics still adorn government buildings, housing blocks, and factory walls. Many celebrate industry and culture with artistic flourishes that belie their staid subjects. Photographer David Trilling found himself drawn to them again and again on his travels around Russia and Central Asia. (https://twitter.com/dtrilling, www.davidtrilling.com)

A mosaic above the entrance to the Frunzenskaya Metro station, in Moscow, celebrates science and the Soviet space program.
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A mosaic above the entrance to the Frunzenskaya Metro station, in Moscow, celebrates science and the Soviet space program.

Outside the station, more mosaics sit incongruously above an American fast-food outlet.
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Outside the station, more mosaics sit incongruously above an American fast-food outlet.

An idyllic vision of the future adorns the ceiling of the 1938 Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow.
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An idyllic vision of the future adorns the ceiling of the 1938 Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow.

A detail from a mosaic celebrating the Soviet Union's workers, on Moscow's Oktyabr Theater.
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A detail from a mosaic celebrating the Soviet Union's workers, on Moscow's Oktyabr Theater.

This mosaic in northern Moscow honors firefighters.
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This mosaic in northern Moscow honors firefighters.

At Belorusski Vokzal station, in Moscow, Lenin can still be seen leading the revolution.
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At Belorusski Vokzal station, in Moscow, Lenin can still be seen leading the revolution.

A monument to the Internationale -- the communist hymn -- in central Irkutsk.
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A monument to the Internationale -- the communist hymn -- in central Irkutsk.

In Osh, Kyrgyzstan, the mascot for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
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In Osh, Kyrgyzstan, the mascot for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan -- celebrating the Soviet mantra "friendship of the peoples."
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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan -- celebrating the Soviet mantra "friendship of the peoples."

Above the entrance to a textile factory in Bishkek. At the top, it says, "Our work, Motherland, is for you."
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Above the entrance to a textile factory in Bishkek. At the top, it says, "Our work, Motherland, is for you."

Atomic scientists are featured on the wall of this now-abandoned uranium mill in the southern Kyrgyzstani town of Mailuu-Suu.
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Atomic scientists are featured on the wall of this now-abandoned uranium mill in the southern Kyrgyzstani town of Mailuu-Suu.

Inside the 1970s Nurek Dam, Lenin is at the heart of a mosaic celebrating Soviet Tajikistan's farming and industry.
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Inside the 1970s Nurek Dam, Lenin is at the heart of a mosaic celebrating Soviet Tajikistan's farming and industry.

At a derelect mining operation in Tajikistan's Anzob Pass.
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At a derelect mining operation in Tajikistan's Anzob Pass.

A mosaic celebrating the achievements (chiefly cotton) and exoticism of Soviet Tajikistan.
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A mosaic celebrating the achievements (chiefly cotton) and exoticism of Soviet Tajikistan.

Tajikistan -- a bus stop in Khorogh, on the Afghan border, honors border guards protecting the Soviet Union's southern frontier.
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Tajikistan -- a bus stop in Khorogh, on the Afghan border, honors border guards protecting the Soviet Union's southern frontier.

Kazakhstan -- workers on the walls of Astana's train station.
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Kazakhstan -- workers on the walls of Astana's train station.

A mural in praise of local fishermen and their revolutionary zeal, at Aralsk railway station, Kazakhstan.
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A mural in praise of local fishermen and their revolutionary zeal, at Aralsk railway station, Kazakhstan.

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