Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Socialist Ephemera

Whatever your politics, it has to be admitted that the far-left and the far-right both have a history of the use of amazing design and artwork in the pursuit of their aims. These two pamphlets came to me recently. Both are very left-wing pieces of ephemera, both are no more than 20 or so pages, printed on newsprint and stapled together, flimsy survivals. Obviously, the first impact of both comes from the fantastic black and white images on the covers.

The Spirit of Invergordon is perhaps the most interesting being a pamphlet by Len Wincott (self-published), one of the leaders of the Invergordon Mutiny in September 1931 by the ratings of HMS Norfolk. Wincott was one of the hundreds who were dismissed as a result of the mutiny and, helped as they were by the Communist Party many, like Wincott, went on to become left-wing activists. In fact Wincott went immediately to work for The International Labour Defence and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and ended up in the USSR in a labour camp for 11 years.

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