Thursday, March 10, 2011
Propaganda for every man.
The first thing you notice about the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre is that it's not your typical museum or gallery, of course propaganda isn’t typical of every day life as Americans know it. PPAC is located in the basement of an apartment building near the French Concession. There's obviously no sign advertising the center and the staircase to the basement is scary, at best.
All the posters are in Chinese, so I had no idea what they were saying, but it was interesting to see the similarities and differences in drawing/painting style from decade to decade. Most of the posters use primary colors and lots and lots of red. I don’t know that much about politics, but art is not something I normally associate with politics. It was very different for me to think of propaganda as an art form. I learned this past week in Global Media (which is now cancelled so I guess these types of contributions will now be fairly limited) the Chinese government owns the media, unlike in the United States.
All aspects of the management team are appointed by government officials and these editors, producers, etc. merely serve to carry out their governments’ ideals, which may vary from province to province.
According to the 1957 model of the media (which lasted until 1978), media served as the mouthpiece of the Party. Wartime propaganda was a major part of this model because propaganda is a way of legitimizing the ruler’s wishes.