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1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist’s Perspective

This is how the Soviets viewed Paris and France.

1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist’s Perspective

1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist's Perspective
1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist’s Perspective




1970s Paris and France seen through this Soviet tourist’s perspective offers us a real glimpse of how people living in communism viewed a democratic society from almost 50 years ago. It’s like a time travelling machine for anyone passionate about vintage stuff.

This photo series was taken by a Soviet tourist during his visit to France. Back then, if you were a citizen of the USSR (Soviet Union), you had to receive a special permit in order to travel to other countries outside the Iron Curtain, and most of the time, such permissions were only granted to members of the ruling Communist Party. Basically, you had to be someone in order to be allowed to travel abroad.

Entitled ‘Paris – the blue dream of Soviet people’, this collection of snapshots from 1970s Paris lets us see how people living in an enclosed regime viewed democracy, it’s people, and it’s values. The photo album was posted on LiveJournal, where questions like “What are they wearing in Paris?” and comments in Russian, like “A wish: To see Paris and die…” accompany the photos.

1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist's Perspective
1970s Paris and France Seen Through A Soviet Tourist’s Perspective

The Soviet tourist described life in the Soviet Union in contrast to life in Paris and in the rest of France: “Cooperative apartment with carpets, crystals, Romanian furniture and Czechoslovak plumbing, a villa and Zhiguli latest model. What could be higher? Only it, – Paris. A beautiful, romantic, fairy-tale city-dream, along the streets of which roams a funny Richard or the most charming Belmondo. And, of course, love!”

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