Featured Documentaries

Russian Propaganda Posters

russian propaganda

The images below are prints available for purchase at Amazon. Click on each picture for more detail.

Vladimir Lenin Propaganda Poster (61 x91 cm)

Many of the propaganda posters in Russia portrayed Lenin as a hero. Even the dominant stance he takes within this poster represents power. The text on the poster loosely translates as “Lenin lives, he lives now, and will live again.” This statement would conjure up ideas of immortality within the minds of anyone who viewed the poster. It makes reference to the fact that even though Lenin died, his ideas are still alive, and will continue to be alive in the future. This poster contains a visual representation of Lenin’s most important year, 1917, in the [...]

What is Propaganda?

what-is-propaganda

 

Propaganda is:

persuasion by design: the goal is to systematically and consciously promote a set of ideas and actions developed by those advocating such a doctrine and who would duly benefit from it. value-neutral: as a process it is neither “good” nor “bad.” It is perceived negatively often when looking at the propaganda process of an opposing group, and as such it is difficult to identify propaganda within one’s own group, society, and ideology. most effective when it appropriates preexisting beliefs, preconceptions, judgements, historical and contemporary figures, and recognizable symbols. used by almost all modern entities for a variety of purposes. Propagandistic ventures by government have included everything from the promotion of public health and safety to eugenics [...]

Bandwagon

 

Bandwagon propaganda promotes consensus by presenting an already extant display of unity, such as group activities, parades, rallies, etc. The target audience is tempted to join a group or to do what the “others” are doing. Social psychology teaches us that there are a variety of social constraints that prevent us from acting differently from the rest, and bandwagon propaganda reinforces this innate desire to do what everyone else is doing. Furthermore, those who do not join as seen as social outcasts or pariahs.

Example of propaganda: The bandwagon theme can be found in most propaganda, however it was used with particular zeal during the Italian Fascist era. In this poster, Mussolini’s giant profile is visible among, and indeed [...]

Euphemisms

 

An euphemism is a pleasant word or expression that substitutes for one that is potentially offensive (often involving bodily functions, sex, or death). In visual propaganda, Credit union agent euphemisms often involve symbols or pictures to make a point.

Example of propaganda: Hitler’s “Final Solution” was a euphemism for the extermination of the Jews and other unwanted peoples. In this poster, the mention of “undesirables” and “undue burdens” hints that there is a better (read: final) solution in the pages of the Neves Volk (New People) publication.

Venereal diseases (VD) presented a major problem throughout the Second World War, and a soldier could not fight at the front if the disease was left untreated. In this potent poster, [...]

Didactic

 

This type of propaganda shapes attitudes and behaviours through simple statements. Those who do not follow such commands may seen be seen as unpatriotic. Didactic propaganda may be used to promote temporary measures, to shape the general behaviour of a society, or to warn of the consequences of certain actions.

Examples of propaganda: In times of economic hardship, in this case during times of war, the citizenry is reminded not be wasteful and to avoid certain products.

In this 1944 poster, a young blond woman in an apron is taking the “home front pledge” in compliance with food conservation and price control programs. She is promoting the war effort by adhering to these programs and not, for instance, resorting [...]

Common Man

The “common man” or “plain folks” technique is used to show a relationship between the position of the audience (the common people) with that of a leader, a party, or any other organization, and/or their beliefs. The goal is to gain the trust of the audience by focusing on the similarities and common goals between the two.

Examples of Propaganda: In propaganda, this usually translates into a leader being among the people (i.e. planting a tree, placing a brick) or doing something very ordinary (i.e. working hard). In this photo, Mussolini is shown surrounded by peasants in Littoria and partaking in the annual wheat harvest.

 

In these posters from the Soviet Union in the late 1930s, Stalin [...]