Propaganda of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution

I’m fascinated by propaganda style art.  Its striking colors, bold lines, symbolism, and even unintentional humour all create an attractive sight.  I guess they’re similar to political cartoons, but of course the politics are all one-sided.  I often wonder what kind of effect (if any) each had on passersby. 

During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China, Chairman Mao set out to eradicate all traces of capitalism and tried to unite a new China under his style of socialism.  Among his many techniques was a massive propaganda poster campaign, which created hundreds of individual designs all carrying messages of hope, unity, Maoist ideas, declarations against enemies (US and Russia at the time), and rally slogans.  It’s all very serious and even confrontational, but looking at them, you get a sense that people really might have felt a strong connection through the illustrations and words.  Besides, even if you don’t agree with the intent, it’s still art.  Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments (captions) below.

And at last:  a picture of Chairman Mao’s body (preserved) laid to rest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.


Filed under Living in China

3 responses to “Propaganda of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution

  1. Jordan Alexander

    Thank god he’s not alive….:/

  2. Ken Kozminski

    Very much appreciate your posting these as I am corrupting one of the posters for an art project of my own. I am not really certain to whom I should give credit to the original but I am grateful for the image that seems to suite my story the best. I have removed the little red book and the guns but the revolutionary spirit is unmistakably embedded which is exactly what I wanted.
    Thanks Jordan, wherever you are!

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