Stefan R. Landsberger (Leiden)
One of the ways in which the Communist Party (CCP, established in 1921) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC, founded in 1949) have defined themselves has been through propaganda art. After 1949, propaganda art gave concrete expression to the abstract policies and the many different visions of the future that the CCP entertained. Propaganda posters played a major supporting role in the many campaigns that were designed to mobilize the people, and they became the favored medium for educational purposes, in particular given the large number of illiterates China had in the early decades of the PRC. Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought guided the nation to modernization and the recognition of the new, strong China. As the first three decades passed, it became clear that the stress on ideological purity and revolutionary fervor did not necessarily lead to the realization of the dream of rejuvenation and more pragmatic policies were adopted that have turned China into today’s economic powerhouse. How has this radical turn, from revolution to economic development, been visualized in political communication, more specifically in propaganda posters? Where and how did the materialist outlook turn into dreaming? More recently, public service advertising (PSA) on television, websites, and social media has superseded the use of posters to modernize and further strengthen the state’s communication strategies. Is China’s present Dream structurally different from the one(s) cherished before?
This lecture will present an overview of posters as well as more recent PSA in an attempt to tease out answers to the questions raised above
Prof. Dr. Stefan R. Landsberger is Associate Professor at the Department of China Studies and has been part of Leiden University for over thirty years, holding various positions. From 2005-2015, Landsberger held the Olfert Dapper Chair of Contemporary Chinese Culture at the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in contemporary China, from a social and political perspective, and is an expert on Chinese political communication and visual propaganda. He has published extensively on the practice of propaganda in China and is the owner of a vast private collection of Chinese propaganda posters – possibly the largest collection in the world (www.chineseposters.net).
14.12.2017 | 12:00
Neubau "Holzlaube", Room 2.2051