The entitlement to write complaints to various institutions in Soviet Lithuania was guaranteed by post-Stalinist decrees, resolutions and the 1977 Soviet Constitution. Letters of complaint to humour and satire journal Broom provide data on Lithuanian citizens’ relationships to Soviet modern materialities and their everyday encounters with objects and surroundings in public spaces in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Soviet state was promulgating utopian visions in the media, schools and workplaces of the modern lifestyles of Soviet citizens living in the most progressive society, marching to a communist future. Letter writers’ critical discourse created a dystopian vision of Soviet modernity. Soviet dystopia expressed dissociations from the Soviet utopian project, disenchantment with Soviet modernity and yearnings for a better future. In an authoritarian state, in the absence of venues for political activities, complaint writing was a form of political participation. It communicated a subjective positioning towards public spaces as well as, in some cases, the regime itself. Encounters with Soviet materialities as Soviet dystopia shaped desires for a different self and a different future, which at the end of the 1980s came to fruition in the Baltic Singing Revolution.