Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) - Part 2
If the conditions in China turned from bad to worse from 1958 onwards, with the famine that resulted from the Great Leap as the nadir, how did the propaganda apparatus deal with this situation? It showed abundance.
One of the essential aspects of propaganda is that it should reflect reality, while at the same time providing an optimistic outlook of what lies ahead. The posters below, all published in 1960, belied what actually had been taking place and continued to provide a surreal picture of life.
While the poster above, designed by none other than veteran artists Ha Qiongwen and Weng Yizhi, continued to drum up support for the already discredited developmental strategy, the anonymous images below -- parts of an incomplete series -- attempted to put a spin on what had been achieved. They all can serve as examples of the Illustrator-Realist style that marked the Great Leap.
The only indication of the material scarcity at the time is the fact that all these posters have either been printed on paper previously used to publish texts, or that they have been recycled for printing texts. Whatever the reason, the printed text shimmers through the very thin paper of mediocre quality.