Political Cartoon at the Service of West Belarus Left Wing Movement: the Journal “Malanka”

This article suggests looking at the multiple scholarly contradictions upon the 1921 division of Belarus and the political situation in West Belarus through a case study – the exemplary sample of West Belarusian cartoons. Drawn in Malanka, the satirical publication of the Leftist West Belarusian organization Hramada, they combined the propaganda elements invigorated by the Soviet cartoons with the locally conditioned features, becoming a novel and applied genre. A tool for anti-state propaganda, Malanka and other leftist journals simultaneously became a product of relative democratization of West Belarus, which allowed for a multitude of opinions. This article argues that the pro-Soviet West Belarusian cartoons became a  specific  form of expression,  inspired  by  the  seeming  success  of  the  Soviet “miracle“, but possible due to the certain liberties available for some time in the Second Polish Republic.