Saturday, 3 October 2009

Weapons of Mass Communication

The first responsibility of any leader during times of conflict is to win the minds, body and imagination of the people - see President Obamas' branding campaign. Since World War 1, 1914, the weapon of choice has been the poster.

Investigating the power of the poster was exhibited at The Imperial War Museum which ran from 04 October 2007 - 30 March 2008, a fantastic demonstration of propaganda that I felt was worth noting.

Weapons of Mass Communication: War Posters featured hundreds of iconic posters exhibited across the walls in their bulk. The designers and advertisers of the day were employed to influence the wills of civilians and soldiers, the most successful were memorable, direct and strikingly beautiful, disguised to carry the government message.

The iconic images of Alfred Leete’s Kitchener recruitment poster, the pioneering designs of Julius Gipkins and Abram Games were on show as well as the influential graphics of Peter Kennard and David Gentleman.

Truly a fantastic exhibition and one I'd recommend to anyone, artist or otherwise if they display the posters again.

The principle of propaganda I find fascinating and ultimately terrifying, but above all this is history and evidence of the socio-political times as well as a reflection of people as a whole; our minds were easily influenced, how culture dictated, how far through freedom of speech, woman's rights etc we've developed and grown as a race.
These posters are what made us who we are today and without a doubt should be appreciated.

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