PROPAGANDA ART WORLD WIDE

Guilt trip....much? Yes even my country has had its fair share of propaganda. With more bite than a bloody rattlesnake, this poster attacks a man's masculinity. Thanks ladies! (or should that by "thanks government")

Guilt trip….much? Yes even my country has had its fair share of propaganda. With more bite than a bloody rattlesnake, this poster attacks a man’s masculinity. Thanks ladies! (or should that by “thanks government”)

I wrote yesterday about Propaganda. Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending more time writing and researching rather than sitting at the art table. Contining with yesterday’s propaganda post, i wanted to talk more on the artform that is propaganda. As i’ve explained elsewhere on this blog, propaganda is everywhere, in movies, in books, in the news, in culture and tradition, in religion, in basically everything you can think of. Our Tarot focuses on Chinese propaganda, in particular Chinese communist propaganda. There is also Soviet, Vietnamese, and Korean communist propaganda images, and possibly others, but we mainly focus on the Chinese. Propaganda posters have been around for many years, and were used in America, Great Britain, Canada, Europe, Australia, Ireland and so on.

They all have one thing in common. They are all designed to make you think or feel a certain way. Look at the Irish poster to the left. The Irish government were clever (or whoever made this poster). By using women in the image with the slogan “Will you go or must i?” implies that the guy…if he doesn’t go to war, is a coward. This kind of emotional manipulation is especially effective in war propaganda. The American military / government is strong adherents to this type of emotional manipulation. The saying “support our troops” is popular, ( although i’ve heard particularly good arguments against it ) implying that if you don’t, you either hate your country or you’re selfish. Like i say, very effective. The saying “support our troops” is still a form of propaganda because even pacifists, Christians and other anti-war people are still supposed to somehow “support our troops”, or in plain english, support people who are shooting other people’s fathers etc.**  Below is a selection of other propaganda posters from western countries…

Guilt trip....much? Yes even my country has had its fair share of propaganda. With more bite than a bloody rattlesnake, this poster attacks a man's masculinity. Thanks ladies! (or should that by "thanks government")

Guilt trip….much? Yes even my country has had its fair share of propaganda. With more bite than a bloody rattlesnake, this poster attacks a man’s masculinity. Thanks ladies! (or should that by “thanks government”)

Still, propaganda is an effective tool and every country uses it. Posters were a popular form of getting the message across. Keep in mind that, at least according to wikipedia, in the U.S and Britain, during WW2 there was no television in the homes. Printed media, therefore, was an important part of trying to get the message across and rallying the people to a particular cause. Nowadays we have Facebook, Twitter, the internet, video games, and all manner of news sources both online and on the tv, all of which are saturated in propaganda. We are bombared with it daily.

Type Hope and Obama and you get this in Google Images search. A sea of propaganda

Type Hope and Obama and you get this in Google Images search. A sea of propaganda

In recent times we see in president Barack Obama that well known propaganda has been created for him too, along with slogans like “Change”, “Yes we Can” and ” Hope”. Obama has his fair share of supporters and i am not going to go into a long winded rant about the man, since by now many know my thoughts, but i felt that it was important to include Obama here because a huge amount of propaganda surrounds him. We even had Jamie Fox jokingly (i hope) call Barack Obama Lord and Saviour while others like Oprah Winfrey suggested that those who won’t vote for him (in 2008 during his run for presidency) are racist, implying of course that those who decide to vote differently can’t possible be studying the policies for individual candidates. Again, these are forms of propaganda

The Red Scare brought about a time of propaganda designed to make U.S society fear Communism and Communists, the effects of which continue to this day

The Red Scare brought about a time of propaganda designed to make U.S society fear Communism and Communists, the effects of which continue to this day

And last but not least, we see the huge propaganda scare in the U.S that many communists in America and elsewhere will be familar with. The Red Scare. Everyone from Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Pete Seeger and others were blacklisted during the second Red Scare which lasted for about 1950 – 1956. (although in reality this “red scare” has had a lasting effect which continues to this day)

There we have it folks. It is my belief (unfounded or not) that the word “propaganda” to many people means something sinister when it fact it can be used for both good and bad, (depending on which side you’re on) coming in many forms. In this particular blog entry we purposely avoided using communist propaganda posters because i wanted to introduce those who perhaps do not know much about this particular artform and who are not communist, Chinese, or otherwise, to it’s universal reach, showing that it has been used in many countries all over the world. This has been fun to write, and i plan to elaborate on it more.

James

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**No one likes their parents coming back in bodybags, be you an American or british soldier or a turban wearing Afghan fighter. If you don’t have a personal vote on if your country should go to war in the first place, why is it so important to support the troops? Why ask for our support now? You’re already supporting them with your taxes. The verbal “support” is just a form of clique mentality. Great propaganda.

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