Friday, September 07, 2007

Propaganda Posters

Here's a great resource for teaching Visual Rhetoric: The US Government Propaganda Posters from WWII collected in the library of Northwestern University.

This one on the right: "He eats a ton a year" (credit: ID:
is typical of the friendly type that try encouragement and an appeal to patriotism and helping rather than guilt or fear tactics. The posters from earlier in the war, such as this one from 1942, have a simpler color scheme. Later full color would be used.

Students are usually surprised and intrigued that the US government would use propaganda to rally the citizens to the war cause. Nowadays, it's all TV newsbites. However, WWII was not the first. Here's a British enlistment poster "At the Front" from the first World War.

At the top is a Russian poster. Can anyone translate this? And look at the remarkable Russian poster of Martin Luther King Jr. with the American Flag.

I apologize for the layout - I don't know how to move the images around in the post.



Blogger Miss Marjie said...

When I couldn't figure out the whole Russian poster with my little Russian, I asked my Russian professor. He says it translates to:

"Be on guard. Nowadays the walls are listening in (cf."have ears" in English). It's a short step from blabbering and gossiping to TREASON. Don't blab!"

He said America had similar posters during WWII ("Don't gossip, the walls have ears!")

10:43 PM  
Blogger Sara Jameson said...

Thanks so much for the translation of the "blabbing one!" I have a number of US ones about "don't talk" also.

What about a translation for the MLK poster?

11:51 AM  
Blogger Miss Marjie said...

I'm not sure if I translated it perfectly (not the kind of vocab I usually had in Russian class), but it looks as if it says

to (toward) answering/responsibility

the last word is in accusitive case, suggesting it's a destination--bringing people to accountability.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Michael Faris said...

You might also be interested in (via this viz. blog post), A Soviet Poster a Day.

7:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home