Don't talk!


July 6, 2022

"Do not talk!" - Soviet poster of 1941, created by artists Nina Vatolina and Nikolai Denisov, one of the most famous rear-themed posters. It became widespread in the poster art of the Soviet and post-Soviet period.


The poster was created in the summer of 1941. The author of the poster, artist Nina Vatolina, in an interview given to Komsomolskaya Pravda on November 11, 2000, described the reasons and motives for its creation as follows: “It was a tragic time, and the poster was created to help survive in the fight against a mortal enemy. This is very sincere work. <...> Once my editor at Izogiz, Elena Valerianovna Povolotskaya, said: “We need to make such a poster,” and put her finger to her lips. “We need to talk less now,” suggesting drawing a poster on the lines of S. Ya. Marshak: “Be alert! On days like these, the walls listen. Not far from chatter and gossip to treason."


The poster is a propaganda piece of art, consisting of an image and two verbal components: lines of poetry and the prohibition inscription "Don't talk!" The image of a woman in a red headscarf is the central component of the poster, the woman depicts a characteristic prohibition gesture calling for stopping conversations. The essence of the gesture is specified in the verbal component of the poster. According to the author's intention, the serious, worried expression of the woman's face, whose eyes are fixed on the viewer, should not allow the poster to be taken lightly. The author directs the call as if not from the authorities, but from a simple woman who is aware of the correctness of the propagandized call-ban and is convinced of the need to follow it. The image of a woman in a red headscarf is positioned as a symbol of an ideal citizen of the USSR and an example worthy of emulation by other citizens. After viewing the poster and understanding its content, the viewer should understand that there are no trifles in wartime, and the path to victory over the enemy depends, among other things, on the responsible speech behavior of every citizen.

Linguistic analysis

Candidate of Philological Sciences O. V. Khorokhordina, thematically referring the poster to the political sphere, notes it as a very characteristic feature