Proletkult, an early 20th century independent soviet organisation with designs on cultural education for all, was a lot more than just a collection of avant-garde artists. This struck a chord with me, not least because so many people I meet in rural Bulgaria aren’t exactly as literate as you might expect in an EU member state, and I think Proletkult’s rise and fall also mirrors a lot of the revolutions that are going on around the world. On top of that, one of its ideas was to dismantle the artificial borders between art and science with the notion that critical enquiry and creativity are fundamental to both.
Too much control ends in disaster. Control can bring about efficient and radical change, but it also harbours resentment in those that are its subject, as the Proletkult movement of the first half of the 20th century Soviet history, and more contemporary revolutions, ought to be reminding us.