Title of the article:



Daria Y. Ermilova

Information about the author/authors

Daria Yu. Ermilova — PhD in Philosophy, Professor, Professor of the Higher School of Design, Russian State University of Tourism and Service, Glavnaya St. 99, 141221 Moscow region, Pushkinsky City District, Cherkizovo Village, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4794-1396
E-mail: d.ermilova@gmail.com


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 69


pp. 56–72


December 12, 2022

Approved after reviewing

January 18, 2023

Date of publication

September 25, 2023



Index UDK

74.01 + 7.067 "1941/1945"

Index BBK



The paper explores female images of posters of the Second World War. It was important to find out how the world of images corresponded to the challenges of the time and how adequately it reflected this time. This approach reveals that the constructed world is not identical to reality — it does not reflect all the roles that women performed, especially in the USSR. The image of the Motherland was the main thing on Soviet posters for the front and less often — the reward for Victory and victims. The posters for the rear were dominated by the image of a working woman. Unlike American and British posters with young “female friends”, Soviet posters depicted women more realistically – and there are almost no women in military uniforms on Soviet ones, although posters of the second half of the 1930s often depicted women of “male” professions (scientists, doctors, pilots, etc.). During the war, such images disappeared completely. There are no images of pilots, snipers, radio operators on Soviet posters, although they are reflected in other types of art. The main reason is seemingly the fact that military propaganda created a masculine image of a warrior-defender, while women were assigned to the traditional gender roles of mother, faithful friend, keeper of the hearth or a symbol of the Motherland. The experience of World War II propaganda, which focused on visual images, may be valuable for modernity, despite the specifics of communications in the digital world.


Soviet Posters of the Great Patriotic War, Posters of the Second World War, Female Image, Visual Image, Agitation, Propaganda.


1 Alieva, L. V., Filippova, T. V. “Zhenskoe litso voiny: obraz zhenshchiny v plakatnom iskusstve perioda Vtoroi mirovoi voiny” [“The Female Face of the War: Women Images in Poster Art at the Period of World War II”]. Metamorfozy istorii, no. 6, 2015, pp. 21–47. (In Russ.)

2 Afonskii, S. A. “Nalichie i kharakter arkhetipov v iskusstve russkogo plakata, sozdannogo v period Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny 1941–1945 gg.” [“Presence and Nature of Archetypes in Russian Posters Made During the Great Atriotic War 1941–1945”]. Vestnik Rossiiskogo ekonomicheskogo universiteta im. G. V. Plekhanova, no. 3 (87), 2016, pp. 159–169. (In Russ.)

3 Barsukova, N. V. “Naravne s muzhchinami: zhenshchiny v Vooruzhennykh silakh SSSR v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny” [“On a Par with Men: Women in the Armed Forces of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War”]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo instituta, Series “Istoriia” [“History”], no. 4, 2012, pp. 203–206. (In Russ.)

4 Bychkova, O. I. “Sovetskii plakat kak khranitel' pamiatnykh sobytii voennykh let” [“Soviet Poster as the Guardian of the Memorable Events of the War Years”]. Nasledie vekov, no. 1, 2015, pp. 90–94. (In Russ.)

5 Verbovaia, A. Iu. “Vliianie mirovykh voin na obraz evropeiskoi i amerikanskoi zhenshchiny” [“The Impact of the World Wars on the Image of European and American Women”]. Idei i idealy, vol. 11, no. 4, Part 2, 2019, pp. 340–353. DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2019-11.4.2-340-353(In Russ.)

6 Danilova, Iu. Iu., Nurieva, D. R. “Sovetskie plakaty kak sredstvo vizual'no-verbal'noi politicheskoi agitatsii” [“Soviet Posters as a Means of Visual and Verbal Political Agitation”]. Mir Nauki, Kul'tury, Obrazovaniia, 2015, no. 2 (51), pp. 406–411. (In Russ.)

7 Dziuba, E. V., Tkachenko, Iu. G. “Sovetskoe ‘litso feminizma’: manipuliativnyi potentsial kontseptual'noi metafory v polikodovom tekste” [“Manipulative Potential of Conceptual Metaphors in Polycode Texts”]. Vestnik Iuzhno-Ural'skogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, Series “Lingvistika” [“Linguistic”], vol. 14, no. 4, 2017, pp. 5–11. DOI: 10.14529/ling170401 (In Russ.)

8 Marakhovskii, E. L. Informatsionnaia politika SSSR, SShA i Germanii v period Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (na primere plakatnoi propagandy) [“Information Policy of the USSR, the USA and Germany During the Second World War (on the Example of Poster Propaganda)”]. Problemy natsional'noi strategii, no. 2 (35), 2016,
pp. 206–228. (In Russ.)

9 Murmantseva, B. C. Sovetskie zhenshchiny v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine: 1941–1945 [Soviet women in the Great Patriotic War: 1941–1945]. Moscow, Mysl' Publ., 1979. 293 p. (In Russ.)

10 Pushkareva, N. L. “Gendernaia sistema Sovetskoi Rossii i sud'by rossiianok” [“The Gender System of Soviet Russia and the Fate of Russian Women”]. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, no. 5, 2012, pp. 8–23. (In Russ.)

11 Riabov, O. V. “Natsiia i gender v vizual'nykh reprezentatsiiakh voennoi propagandy” [“Nation and Gender in visual representations of the Propaganda War”]. Zhenshchina v rossiiskom obshchestve, no. 3–4, 2005, pp. 19–28. (In Russ.)

12 Khloponina, O. O. “‘Zhenskii mir’ v sovetskom plakate 1910–1930-kh godov: evoliutsiia mifologicheskikh konstruktov” [“The ‘Female World’ in the Soviet Poster Art of the 1900–1930s: the Evolution of Mythological Constructions”]. Nauchnyi potentsial: raboty molodykh uchenykh, no. 4, 2017, pp. 287–295. DOI: 10.17805/zpu.2017.4.25 (In Russ.)

13 Shalygina, D. L., Kulikov, V. A. “Spetsifika propagandistskogo plakata vo vremia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny kak sredstva konstruirovaniia sovetskoi identichnosti” [“The Specifics of the Propaganda Poster During the Great Patriotic War as a Means of Building Soviet Identity”]. Vestnik Permskogo instituta, Istoriia [History], no. 2, 2011, pp. 55–57. (In Russ.)

14 Goldstein, Joshua S. War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001. 523 p. (In English)

15 Ermilova, D. Y., Alibekova, M. I., Eryomkin, D. I, Lyakhova, N. B., Sorokotyagina, E. N. “Analysis of the Impact of Second World War on Fashion and Consumer Practices.” New Design Idea, Vol. 6, no. 1, 2022, pp. 71–85. (In English)

16 Ermilova, D., Lyakhova, N., Pustozerova, O., Tretyakova, S., Firsova, Yu. “Clothes Rationing During World War II and its Impact on Fashion História e Cultura.” Múltiplas escritas da história: implicações das diferentes formas de representação histórica, vol. 11, no. 2, 2022, pp. 205–224. (In English)

17 Lerner, Daniel Paper bullets: Great Propaganda Posters, Axis & Allied Countries WWII. New York, Chelsea House Publ., 1977. 8 p. Text + 28 Plates. (In English)

18 Zeman, Zbynek Selling the War: Art and Propaganda in World War II. London, Orbis Publishing: Exeter Daniel Publ., 1982. 120 p. (In English)