Chinese Propaganda Poster Analysis

868 Words4 Pages
The Role of Government Propaganda in the Educational System during the Cultural Revolution in China
Jing Huang

1. Introduction
The Proletarian Cultural Revolution, also called the Cultural Revolution in China, which took place between 1966 and 1976, was a social-political movement. Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, started this movement, originally aiming at reinforcing communism, more specially socialism with Chinese characteristics or Maoism. Capitalism and traditional Chinese culture were to be obliterated. The whole society was paralyzed economically, politically and socially. (Bianco, 1971)
There are many aspects of the revolution worth investigating, however, due to the complexity of the ten-year movement, it
…show more content…
Some fresh graduates dress up like the Red Guards to take graduation photos, developing a controversial retro fashion as shown by figure 1 below. (Pan, 2008)
Figure1: Students in "Red Guard" outfits pose for graduation photos (People's Daily Online, 2012)
Tremendous propaganda posters were created during the 60s and 70s with a wide range of topics and forms, covering nearly everything from personal conducts to diplomatic relationships. However, in this essay, the focus will be on the propaganda posters targeting at the students or young generation in general.
2.1 Characteristics
Characteristics of the propaganda posters in the Cultural Revolution were distinct, easy to be identified even when mixed with piles of posters. In this session, the features will be illustrated with the assistance of real examples of the posters.

2.1.1 Simplicity
To cater for the educational level of the majority of the public, the posters were designed to deliver direct and clear information. Ideally, people could understand the contents without knowing the meaning of any Chinese character. As a result, pictures, the traditional and effective vision aid, were wildly used. Sentences on the posters tended to be short and rhymed. (Cai,
…show more content…
In other words, the powerful knowledge hindered the implementation of obscurantist policy, thus making Chairman Mao feel threatened given the revolution was set into motion to consoled his political position in the country to regain public prestige and control.
Mao viewed the educated as potential threats to his governance and was never a fan of promoting intellectual activities in the society.
(Referring to the Kuomintang) There are many stubborn elements, graduates in the specialty schools of stubbornness. They are stubborn today, they will be stubborn tomorrow, and they will be stubborn the day after tomorrow. What is stubbornness (wan gu)? Gu is to be stiff. Wan is to not progress: not today, nor tomorrow, nor the day after tomorrow. People like that are called the stubborn elements. It is not an easy thing to make the stubborn elements listen to our words. (Mao,
Open Document