Since reviewing “The Race Against The Stasi” recently I’ve been following author Herbie Sykes’ occasional tweet of a poster from the Peace Race with great interest. The graphic art found within the posters – still the prominent means of mass communication in Cold War eastern Europe – are quite stunning, with many coming from the famed Polish Poster School movement that also re-invigorated film poster artwork in the same era.
Resolutely politicised and censored but with a graphic freedom that sometimes sought to subvert the totalitarian regimes that they were ostensibly glorifying, almost each poster is magnificent on it’s own. When brought together, they increase in power as they hint at the incredible story of this phenomenal race, about which we, as Westerners, know almost nothing.
With Herbie’s permission I’ve started to collate the images that he has tweeted into a single Pinterest board. The first 30 are on there now, with hopefully the same amount to come. As each of the three countries involved – Poland, Czechoslovakia and (after a few years) East Germany – all produced separate posters there should be a lot more out there to find..