@Shanghai: the Chinese Propaganda Museum

16 Aug

Shortly before the school year ended, my awesome History teacher brought our class of two to a propaganda museum. We’d been learning about the WWII and all those things from the Western perspective, so this was the perfect opportunity to look at what the Chinese had been getting from their government back then. After all, the Chinese are notorious for their propaganda–the government uses it shamelessly. The Chinese news? Don’t trust it (Embarrassing events? Not on the news. Death toll? ALWAYS. BELOW. 36). Do I even have to mention the fact that Facebook and Youtube are blocked, along with a number of other websites as well?

Needless to say, I was looking forward to the trip. The museum was in a residential area, nicely tucked away and quite invisible to those who weren’t seeking it. They were all genuine posters dating from way back when (1930s) and arranged in chronological order. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take photos, so we made do with admiring the posters and wondering how many people had seen the very same thing before us. The men there, who had lived through the best part of the events depicted, were extremely friendly and spoke English (one even spoke German and French! He put me to shame). They explained the posters to us when we were too ignorant, so a thank you to them.

I can’t remember too much of the rest of the museum, so it was a really good thing I bought those postcards in the gift shops (at 6 yuan apiece, they were the cheapest. Genuine old textbooks were up to several hundred). Here they are, at least my photos of them, carefully arranged using Photoshop on a cork board image I downloaded from Fuzzimo.

I’m not going to explain them in detail here, but the two at the bottom right are: 1st) in support of the Cultural Revolution, and 2nd) claiming that “Knowledge is Power”. I bought those on purpose–next to each other, it’s really ironic. The Cultural Revolution was all against knowledge and whatnot, and people had been sent off to work in fields instead of to study in schools. The one in the top right corner is in support of the blacks in America, and the one in the middle was during the Vietnam War. The remaining three are about revolution and how great Chairman Mao is.

Oh, and you can see bits of thumb too, but just ignore that.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m not sure whether or not it’s healthy to actually feel an urge to post something every single day, but I’ll just roll with it until the holidays end (or, um, until I find something else to serve as a distraction). I do want to say though that I really dislike the whole “censoring information” thing that the Chinese government does–many Chinese people are in the dark about the TianAnMen Massacre, even today.

Don’t get me started. I’ll post something more interesting (hopefully at least, if you found this boring) tomorrow, or something. My parents are limiting my Internet-time, which is much needed sucks. The good news is that I may very well be returning to Shanghai tomorrow.


Edit: The address, for anyone who would like to visit it, is at : Room BOC, Basement, Block B (No.4), 868 HuaShan Road (Shanghai). 上海 华山路868号BOC室。It’s open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Telephone: 86-21-62111845. Email: pmyang@sh163.net


5 Responses to “@Shanghai: the Chinese Propaganda Museum”

  1. Violet August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    About the Death Tolls……
    Did you see about the Accident in WenZhou?
    I think there were several posts on the Sina Weibo about the death tolls and what actually happened at the place where the accident happened or something…….

    • AwesomeAim August 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      The BBC or something (maybe ICS?) said that the death toll was around 40. Although it’s probably fabricated too, it’s more likely than the overused number of 35.

  2. hiromiishibashi August 21, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    hello, i’m living in Shanghai too 🙂
    do you remember where the museum is? i wanna go there. is it in Shanghai?

    • AwesomeAim August 22, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      Yup, it’s in Shanghai. It’s at 上海 华山路868号B0C室。:D

      • hiromiishibashi August 23, 2011 at 1:12 am #

        thanks for your info!! i will visit there 🙂

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