art and propaganda
Propaganda is information or theories that influence the social attitudes of the public according to a specific line of thought or partisan intent and is mainly used as a means of communication for political purposes.
Propaganda is also used as a form of brainwashing to instill certain thoughts or ideas into people.
Through these posters, many countries rationalized conscription and sold war bonds to support military campaigns. It also played a big role as an advertisement to attract volunteers.
The propaganda of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which is one of the negative images of propaganda, operates as an essential element of personal idolization centered on leader Kim Il-sung.
This is President Barack Obama completed by Shepard Fairey during the 2008 presidential primary. It's a positive effect of propaganda. This work gave birth to countless parodies, as if showing people's keen interest. Through ‘HOPE’, Shepard Fairey expressed his wish for the world to change. It does not simply depict President Barack Obama, but also includes his own political views.
We call these works propaganda. Propaganda, among other arts, is something that reveals the social, political, and ideological purpose of the artist, and is mobilized as a means of providing information, theory, or propaganda that influences the public's social attitude. Propaganda is best known for war posters, which are the most effective way to convey a message, and information is often selected and presented to maximize public emotion.
So how should we interpret this propaganda from an artist's perspective?
Below is a good phrase I found when researching answers to these questions.
“The influence of art has greater power than we realize, and the ripple effect of the message conveyed by the work is enormous. Also, when the message is consumed with an image, people more easily accept it and remember it for a long time. As art has a great influence on people, artists who deliver messages should have greater responsibility. All art is propaganda by Hea In Jung”
How can the concept of propaganda be taught? What is propaganda? Would any of these examples be considered propaganda?
What does propaganda mean when analyzing World War II from the three different perspectives below?
The above cases of "This Corner of The World","Japoteurs " and "the 1945 Universal Newsreel on Japanese Surrender" film and documentary contain political messages. However, it cannot be called ‘propaganda’ just because it has such political and historical narratives. Such a message can only become true propaganda if it operates with a certain intention, and when it works well and is 'manipulated' as originally intended, it can be called true 'propaganda'.
In this respect, among the three films above, "Japoteurs" can be seen as the closest to propaganda. Watching this cartoon movie, one gets a sense of superiority that America is as strong as Superman, and the war can be interpreted as a form of self-defense to defeat the world's villains. This is closer to propaganda because it can foster a war-friendly mindset like a campaign. Even if this does not directly contain sentences such as 'Let's go to the battlefield' or 'Let's practice socialism' like the posters presented above, if you keep watching these types of movies, you will unconsciously feel that you are superior and that all the world except yourself is beneath under your shoes.
This leads to dangerous thoughts of superiority and inferiority like a splitting. In fact, if we look around us, the answer is easy to find. The common people, outside of the class that some people try to rule with power, help each other, love justice, and try to live their lives faithfully every day. The problem is the incitement that turns these good citizens into demons. In the end, this kind of prompt is nothing more than a kind of 'manipulation' by the ruling class to make the ruled class move in a more effective and voluntarily manner that does not hold the ruling class accountable. In this respect, I think we need to teach students how to use this kind of propaganda in a positive way. For example, the poster about President Obama above is a good example.
Also, I think that as an artist, political views and a correct perception of the ‘power of art’ should come first. In the case of Picasso, he was well aware of the propaganda role that this kind of art played. He also said that art is a political document. When artists know the power of the art they are creating, they will not collude with some misguided politicians to create propaganda art that puts good citizens at risk of war. In this sense, I think artists also need a correct sense of history and the spirit of an artist.
Myungja Anna Koh