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Stefan Landsberger: Chinese dreams – From revolution to social media
23-10-2017 at 20:00 - 22:00
Chinese Dreams: From Revolution to Social Media
Since their establishment, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party (CCP) have made diligent use of propaganda art. The abstract policies and visions of Communist China could find concrete expression in these forms of art. Propaganda posters played a major role in the campaigns designed to mobilise the people and became a favored educational medium, especially because many Chinese were illiterate in the early decades of the PRC. Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought guided the development towards a new, modern, strong China.
As time passed, it became clear that ideological purity and revolutionary fervor did not necessarily contribute to China’s rejuvenation. More pragmatic policies then turned China into today’s economic powerhouse. How was this radical change visualised in political propaganda posters? Where and how did the new materialist outlook turn into dreaming? More recently, public service advertising (PSA) on television, websites and social media has superseded the use of posters as part of the state’s communication strategy. How is China’s present Dream different from the one(s) cherished before?
In this lecture, Stefan Landsberger will present an overview of propaganda posters as well as more recent PSA in an attempt to tease out answers to those questions. Landsberger is Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Chinese Culture at the University of Amsterdam and Honorary Fellow at International Institute of Social History. He has also worked at the Communication University of China in Beijing. Besides, he is the owner of one of the largest private collections of Chinese propaganda posters outside of China.