The second mosaic portrays the world through a girl’s eyes. If you look at the panel more closely, you can see that some of its parts are missing. It seems as if the mosaic was unable to withstand the test of time, and has broken apart. However, this is an incomplete mosaic, according to the author, and it was not finished because the textile combine ceased financing for the job. A girl in a red dress who is walking the road with confidence, is the central character in this mosaic. She walks joyfully towards a new tomorrow with her arms raised to the sky. Unfortunately, because it is unfinished, her face is not visible. There are other characters besides the central character, such as girls sitting on a porch of a house. One of the girls is reading a book with great enthusiasm, and there is a cat on the laps of the second girl. The other end of the mosaic depicts a minaret or houses with oriental domes and a kneeling boy, extending his arms toward a bird. Sitting next to the kid is a cautious looking dog. In this mosaic, as in the first one, the dominant shades are yellow-blue tones. A multicolour rainbow also illuminates the street on which the main character-the heroine is walking, and the sun is shining from above. There are soap bubbles in the sky, as in the first mosaic, and birds fly away in a harmoniousм V formation. Superimposed circles also cover the background of this mosaic. The entire composition, i.e. the symbols, the chosen colour scale, they all inspire pleasant emotions in the viewer. The mosaics conveys the impression of an ordinary world of children – a world that is happy and carefree.
The mosaics are perceived differently, so some people associate them with childhood, while others note the presence of Soviet ideals and their functional elements. However, the majority of those asked, associate the mosaics with childhood and the world of children. The author confirmed that he had attempted to portray a happy childhood. Another Tajik muralist we asked to see the mosaics, and share his opinion, agreed with the author. He noted the following: “When you look at the mosaic, you get the impression that you are looking at the drawing of a child. It looks like it was the children who portrayed their world.” A kindergarten worker saw in the mosaic a childhood dream after looking at the mosaic for a while. “Who do you want to be? – An astronaut. That was the dream of many boys of that time,” – she said. The director of the kindergarten highlighted the beauty of mosaics, the amount of work that went into making them, and that children often stop by and enjoy looking at mosaics. She also added, however, that for each mosaic there is a reason, and a certain meaning. A mural artist agreed with this viewpoint and said that in these mosaics he finds a functional element. He noted the following: “The composition portrays the past through the minaret and the boy, and the future and progress through the space astronaut.” So, the picture shows how progress from past to future is being made and promotes the achievements in the Soviet period,” he added.
And indeed, at first glance, these mosaics may seem to be no different from many others, made in the traditions of socialist realism, intended to idealize reality and inspire optimism in the viewer. What the author tried to portray, however, can also tell a lot about the world view that existed at the time, how the social realm was seen, a boy (man) and a girl (woman), their role, relationships, and sphere of activity. Clearly, the author has made an attempt to portray a boy and a girl’s equal roles and the concept of equal opportunities for a happy future. This is seen in how the artist has depicted the central characters, and has endowed them with absolutely equal features: both characters are portrayed having the same size, same posture and position. Both the boy and the girl are portrayed as emerging from under the rainbow and setting out on the road to progress. It should be noted that the equal portrayal of boy and girl conveys one of the principles of the Soviet period when the state provided equal opportunities for men and women, encouraged girls ‘ schooling, particularly from rural regions, and provided equal access to employment.
At the same time, if you study the details and examine the remaining characters carefully, you may notice certain aspects that are more typical of Tajik culture. For example, the boys are shown as more active, they are portrayed as astronauts, playing with airplanes, or a flute. However, the girls are portrayed in a rather motionless posture, they look passive and calm. One of the girls is reading, the other one is looking out the window. This image communicates Tajik society’s norms of womanhood and manhood, where boys are associated with determination, strength and action, and girls are associated with humility and obedience. It is also a very interesting fact that the author has portrayed the boys in the street but the girls are depicted at home. This aspect of the mosaic can communicate the message of dividing Tajik society into traditional areas of responsibility, where the public sphere is regarded as an area of masculine activity and the private sphere is regarded as an area of woman activity.
In the view of the above, it seems that in these mosaics the authors made an attempt to reflect some of the important values of the Soviet period, namely progress and industrialization (air plane and cosmonaut), girls’ education (girl with a book), active and equal role of girls and boys (equal portrayal of the central characters), the bright future of Soviet society (rainbow, clear skies and the main characters moving forward) within the context of the Tajik society, where the traditional values are still preserved and upheld. Social norms, where a woman is often assigned a private sphere, and a man is given the public sphere, where manhood is defined by determination, and womanhood – by submission. Hence, we can assume that in a sense, these mosaics represent a synthesis of the Soviet and Tajik ideals. The rationale for this synthesis perhaps is hidden in the fact that the ideologists of that particular period understandably tried to communicate the new values of socialist development within the context of Tajik society to ensure that the main messages of the mosaics could be perceived by the target audience. If you consider these mosaics in the light of our time, it appears that in spite of all the efforts of the Soviet period, certain Tajik traditions have survived the Soviet period and are still being observed, even to this day.
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Мактаби 81, кӯчаи Шамсӣ 73/5