Friday, May 24, 2013

Read This Post, Or the Devilish Hoardes Win

The British Library is having a persuasive propaganda exhibit.

From a piece on the Londonist...

The British Library’s new exhibition provides an exploration of the persuasive power of this state tool, looking at examples from ancient Rome to the present day.

Curators at this impressive new show have taken what they describe as a “neutral” definition of the word, embracing all activity by the state to influence behaviour, whether for good or evil. So, alongside troubling posters from Nazi Germany and Northern Ireland in the 1980s are gentler examples of state persuasion about the benefits of drinking milk and adhering to the Green Cross Code. Chairman Mao’s much-reproduced mythology is analysed, as are uses of the Olympic Games (in London and elsewhere) as a method of promoting national identity.

While the main focus of the exhibition is on propaganda since World War I, there are examples from earlier in history: a coin from the third century BC; a huge portrait of Napoleon; and a curious fan from the reign of George III.

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