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The Guardian today has a review of Phil Collin’s 2010 video installation, Marxism Today, an overview of ignored voices from post-wende East Germany (originally screened at the Berlin Biennale). It features – among other things – footage of DDR-era mass gymnastics displays. ‘This sort of thing could never happen here, I thought, not because we are freer, but because we aren’t sufficiently discipline,’ reviewer Stuart Jeffries writes.

A timely opportunity, then, to draw attention to some other forgotten displays of proletarian grandeur from the east. Czechoslovakia had its own special festival of large-scale coordinated human movement. Called Spartakiada, the event was held every five years in a stadium in Prague. The highlight of the event was always the performance of army soldiers, usually in uniforms of white training shorts. Why this amazing kitschy homoerotic spectacle came to an end is both a mystery and a tragedy. Wouldn’t a revived Spartakiada be a crowd-puller today?