Pushing Limits

Blindness in the Early USSR – Pushing Limits – June 2, 2023

Early disability activism did not only arise in the United States or in the countries of the United Kingdom.  The Soviet Union, shortly after the 1918 revolution, also witnessed a nascent disability movement.  That movement differs significantly from disability advancements in other countries and in later decades.

In this edition of Pushing Limits, Maria Galamarini surveys the development of blind activism in the Soviet Union.

Unlike the United States, did the Soviet apparatus use disability activism to subtly further its propaganda goals and control of Soviet institutions?  Or were the Soviet leaders  honestly concerned with advancing opportunities for its vision-impaired population?  Maria Galamarini lays out the nuances and answers.

Maria Cristina Galmarini is an Associate Professor of History and Global Studies at William & Mary University.  Her monograph, The Right to Be Helped: Entitlement, Deviance, and the Soviet Moral Order, was published in 2016 by Northern Illinois University Press. It explores the sense of entitlement to social rights among marginalized groups in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1950.

Eddie Ytuarte produced and hosts the program.


Artist Song Album Label
JustnormalSpacemoonsSpacemoonsEpidemic Sound
The ImpressionsKeep On PushingSoul LegendsUniversal Music Ireland Ltd.
MoonchildRun Away (Acoustic)Run Away (Acoustic)BELIEVE - Tru Thoughts
Average White BandStop the RainStop the RainWMG - Atlantic Records