East meets West: The Spherical Proximity of two Opposing Political Ideologies in Propaganda Posters.

In countries where social control has a significant role in directing its people in tune with its ideals, propaganda has always had a special place in the arsenal of the leaders. Propaganda has always been used as a key way to communicate ideas and influence the attitudes  of a community. Consequently, propaganda is selective and one sided. Before TV and Radio, propaganda posters were fundamental in visually communicating and to an extent brainwashing the target public. In this blog entry, I am going to illustrate a specific interest in how propaganda was used to depict American and Soviet ideology both during World War II and the Cold War.

'Americans will always fight for liberty'

This poster released during WW2 aims to attract the people to fight in the war, with promises of glory similar to the Civil War.

Similarily, a Russian World War II propaganda poster does the same.

The poster represents the military glory of Tsarist Russia of the 18th Century and it draws parallels between the past russian military victories and the current struggle, in an attempt to show that the current military struggle will be seen as glorious in the future as the indicated conflicts were to the people at the time.

Both of these posters make links with the glory of past wars with the need to recruit soldiers for the current war. The East and the West shared common ideology with their war against Hitler and Nazi Germany. For the purpose of the war, the two future polar opposites came together as a matter of policy and this was reflected in their propaganda posters as a general theme though out the second World War.

Illustrates the alliance between East and West against Nazi Germany

In the light of this poster, their unity was short lived, as their unity was no longer in the political interest of any of the parties. Despite the belligerents of war, breaking their unity and returning to their old ways of attempting to be the polar opposites of each other, the propaganda war that the governments exerted on their people shared a very striking resemblance to each other.



An anti-espionage poster urging people to be careful with the information that they disclose to the public in order to prevent information from reaching the wrong (American) hands.

Similarly, this American poster promotes the same message as the Soviet one above.

Posters set standards on many aspects of life, presenting examples to follow on many aspects of life including family values.


A typical depiction of an idealistic 'all American' 50s family with Capitalism as the root of perfection. It portrays a typical white middle class family: the husband, in his suit as a business man, the son as a baseball player.

Television during the cold war became a more prominent way of influencing people, especally in America, much of propaganda of this nature moved to television screens. Popular animated shows such as  ‘The Jetsons’, ‘The Flintstones’ and TV sitcoms such as ‘Leave it to Beaver’ are all very good portrayals of American family ideals.

(Compare this to modern TV shows of dysfunctional families: eg- The Simpsons, or Modern Family, or Two and a Half Men).

Propaganda posters were still a weapon of choice for the soviets as the television only became a commodity in the late 70s.

'For joyful blooming childhood, For a happy strong family!'

It is apparent that both nations, despite being furtherest away as possible from each other on a political compass, they meet under the theory of the sphercity of political compass, where extreme opposites overlap in many aspects of their ideology. The picture below illustrates this point perfectly.

This poster illustrates the USSR and USA as Supermen who are mirror images of each other. It indicates that each nation is merely a reflection of the other and that they are both equally harmful, destructive and ridiculous in the ideals that they pursue.


Rosephine Fernandes

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The Eco-friendly household.

Sustainable wood, water-based finishes and organic cotton.

Design: Trudy Dujardin
Photography: Durston Saylor
Connecticut, USA

There was a time when every house had a coal or wood burning fire, recycling was a rarity and climate change was unheard of.  But now is the time for doing your bit for the environment, if not just because we’ve damaged the planet but because it’s deemed as fashion now with “Shabby chic”, “make do and mend” and DIY renovation and The above image being presented as the idealogical Eco friendly household.

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Headresses – Amy Curran

Alexander McQueen is one of my most influential designers – his innovative designs and theatrical catwalk shows make him a designer on a whole new level above others.
The headdress for his final collection may refer to bandaging used in a hospital, particularly in his case, a psychiatric one. McQueen always had a reference to birds in his collections, and the a/w 2010 was no exception, with the feathers almost like a mohawk on the headdress to demonstrate the beauty of the bird taking flight and reflects the saying “free as a bird”.

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The 1930’s saw a great deal of debate among leading German Marxist theorists in the area of aesthetics. Georg Lukacs, Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht were all active contributors.  Their writings take off in every direction from the nucleus of a general assumption: that art is, in some manner or form, political. Where “universal mind” reaches its potential in the context of the state through the instrumentalities of art, religion and philosophy, the belief prevailed among them that art was both a product and a reflection of the social totality of which it was a part. The question they pursued, then, was never “Is art political?” or “Does art reflect the basic social and economic facts of capitalist society?”–a question to which they would have unanimously assented–but rather “Which art is progressive, which reactionary?” from ideology and art – Walter Benjamin.

This made me think about how art is used politically to send a message and create an ideology or belief through this.. a good example is newspapers. 

Imagery is used to create a message for the reader, would an image of Cameron by himself have had the same effect? …what is the use of posterizing the image with colour?

Newspaper Comic art.

On the other hand – politically, art is also used humourously to show the negatives and failings of the government – Art is used in politics, to send a message to the reader quickly and easily. – in this way it is used to create reactions.

By Rosie Curtis

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Exit Through the Gift Shop: Film Analysis

Ok, so I’m sure some others have also done this film as we all recently watched it, but I’m not very clued in with ‘art film’ and of what I have seen, this is something I LOVED! It’s a docu[mocu]mentary that is supposed to be about the undercover street artist Banksy, but in actual fact it has been turned around by Banksy and made into a film about a man called Thierry, a highly eccentric French cam-corder enthusiast. He is obsessed by filming everything he sees and everything he does and by a set of very luck chances and breaks he manages to get himself caught up in the then emerging world of street art. He slavishly follows his cousin, the infamous ‘space invader’, getting deeper and deeper into the world and the people surrounding street art. Eventually, via another lucky break, he is hooked up with the crowning jewel of street art himself, Banksy. The consequences of the friendship that ensues is an exhibition by ‘Mr.Brainwash’, Thierry’s street art alter ego, in which he fills an L.A warehouse with his ‘collection’. It is received with applause, with viewers clamouring to hand over their money for any piece of work.

Clever and witty, this film comments on the futility of the current art market. If people are told something is good, they will believe it is, and with the right endorsement, any average [or in this case insane] Joe can make millions. It is also a comment on late capitalism and the consumer side of the art market and it questions the original ethics of the street art movement. It was about creating temporary art work, underground, sometimes illegal, not bright and garish and duplicated again and again. It is a statement as much as it is art work. Weather this film is real and the character of ‘Thierry’ is real or not is questionable. Is Banksy using this film to further his mystery? And what is his comment trying to achieve? For surely he is part of the art market now? He and his work are a commodity. To me, the real motive of this film is unclear, but I think its great anyway!

Marianne Slater

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A Simple Example

An example of interdisciplinary art is Ben Heine’s ‘Pencil vs.Camera’.

He basically experiments with perspective and combines photography with drawings.

I absolutely love the simplicity of his work!




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To me interdisciplinary basically is dissolving the boundaries between what we know of traditional art and modern art; design for function and design for aesthetic value. In it’s nature interdisciplinary encourages experimentation, and through this we integrate different disciplines and practices and by doing so we discover our own strengths and weaknesses.

The exciting thing about is, is that you choose what areas you want to be disciplined in. Yes, it is a non – specialist field, but though keeping an open mind and continuing to explore and drive in between what is fresh, what is unconventional and even what remains traditional, we will perhaps reach a point where our passion drives us to specialise in what particularly works for us. It is how we bring all our disciplines together, what we choose to include and exclude that will define our practice.

It leaves us with so much more than a specialist subject would. Interdisciplinary allows us to fail. It recognises that we are human and it embraces diversity.

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