Brutal Bloc

The recent interest in Soviet concrete architecture has resulted in several publications and exhibitions, the foremost of which is the current ‘Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980’ at MoMA. But ‘Brutal Bloc Post Cards,’ a jeweled book by Jonathan Meades (published by FUEL) is special in that it illuminates the public perception of monumental Brutalism as monuments of hope and bright future. Here, we see the way in which concrete hotels, housing projects, towers, memorials, schools, and shopping centers were depicted in colorful, cheerful Soviet-era postcards, utilized as a form of communist propaganda. The other side of the Iron Curtain, which was thought of as grey, gloomy, and depressed in the Cold-War era, was actually presented to the people as joyful, sunny, and optimistic. 

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