Thursday, September 09, 2010

Noora Chadha

Situated in the basement of a completely nondescript residential
compound in Shanghai as to stay below the current government's radar,
the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre is one of the only venues in
Shanghai where these rare political posters are on display.
Winston Churchill once said, "The Empire of the future will be the
empire of the mind." The Chinese propaganda posters were serving the
purpose of building that future empire by instilling certain concepts
and images into the people's minds. China has always placed importance
in patriotism, controlling the image of the country, and keeping it's
people ideologically in line. In this moment of strong political
zeal, the propaganda posters served the role of CNN or Fox at the
time, communicating the incumbent regime's ideology to the masses
through text and art.
I personally was delighted to see all these rare posters, especially
the one's referring to other countries/foreign relations and the ones
depicting people other than Mao including his wife, the "dragon lady".
I was especially drawn to the "da zi bao", which aren't propaganda
posters but rather self-criticism posters for public viewing.

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