This poster shows one of Riga’s most famous public monuments, the statue of Lenin’s riflemen. The monument is controversial since it commemorates a group of soldiers who fought on the side of the Bolsheviks, tried to establish Soviet rule in Latvia, and eventually became Lenin’s personal bodyguards. Today, some Latvians think the monument should be removed because of its Soviet links, but some think it should stay. Ironically, the Museum of the Occupation of Riga, which documents Nazi and Soviet wrongdoings in Latvia, is right next door.
The reason I like it so much is the homosocial, perhaps even homoerotic quality of the strong, tall, powerful, bold men standing together in camaraderie—qualities so often repeated in Soviet propaganda. When I visited Riga last year, I was surprisingly touched by this statue and spent quite a while looking at it.
Here is another photo from Flickr, taken in 2006 by Swishphotos.