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Red All Over: World War II Press Photographs From the Sovfoto Agency

Winter 2022
Student Gallery
Organized by the 2020–2021 second-year students from Ryerson University’s Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program.

Between 1939 to 1945, New York City-based photography agency Sovfoto provided press outlets with an alternative perspective from “the other side” of the Second World War. As the only supplier of Soviet photojournalistic images in North America at the time, Sovfoto gave audiences a glimpse of people and places impacted by battle on the Eastern Front. 

Presenting over sixty press photographs made in the USSR and Eastern Europe, Red All Over will interrogate traditional practices of photojournalism, including captioning, retouching, and circulation, prompting audiences to consider how these factors helped to shape our comprehension of World War II.

All photographs in this exhibition are on loan from the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.

Content Advisory 
This exhibition includes graphic depictions of dead and wounded individuals, liberated concentration camps, and executions.

Soviet airplanes fly in a star formation, soldiers wearing helmets look up at them from below
Fig. 1

Unidentified photographer, [Soviet air might], ca. 1940, gelatin silver print, collection of the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario

Soldier in training in the act of throwing a projectile towards the facade of a one-wall house front
Fig. 2

Unidentified photographer, [Red Army reserves training], 1942, gelatin silver print, collection of the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario

Two armed soldiers lay on sloped ground aiming their rifles, several more soldiers standing in front of them while another observes from the crevice of tree branches
Fig. 3

Unidentified photographer, [Red Army soldiers in combat on the Western front], 1942, gelatin silver prints (composite), collection of the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario