Agitprop is derived from agitation
An agitator is a person who actively supports some ideology or movement with speeches and especially actions. The Agitators were a political movement as well as elected representatives of soldiers, including the New Model Army of Oliver Cromwell, during the English Civil War. They were also known...

 and propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

, and describes stage plays, pamphlets, motion pictures and other art forms with an explicitly political message.

The term originated in Soviet Russia
Soviet Russia
Soviet Russia usually refers to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. It may also denote:* Soviet Russia , magazine of the Friends of Soviet Russia in the United States...

 (the future USSR), as a shortened form of отдел агитации и пропаганды (otdel agitatsii i propagandy), i.e., Department for Agitation and Propaganda, which was part of the Central and regional committees of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...