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Women Parachuters


New China's female parachuters, 1955

New China's female parachuters, 1955

After the PRC was founded, one of the themes that formed a major inspiration for poster designers puzzling about how to portray the newly empowered women of China was that of the woman parachuter. By this trope, it was possible not only to visualize how women had thrown off the shackles of oppression, but also to devote attention to the People's Liberation Army that had played such a major part in their liberation by supporting the revolutionary struggle.

Parachuters, early 1950s

Parachuters, early 1950s

These clear ideological prescriptions almost seemed to be beleid by the fact that many if not most of the posters showing paratrooper women were designed by artists who had made their mark in the pre-Liberation era with yuefenpai - calendar and commercial - designs.

Women parachuters, 1958

Women parachuters, 1958

Women parachuters, 1964

Women parachuters, 1964

Women parachuters, 1966

Women parachuters, 1966

The fascination with women gracefully gliding down, hanging from colorful parachutes, that marked the pre-Cultural Revolution era was traded in later for a slightly more heroic and bellingerent approach.

Pierce the vast sky with lofty aspirations, 1976

Pierce the vast sky with lofty aspirations, 1976

Even when the high tide of Maoism ended in 1976 and Socialist Realism no longer was prescribed as mode of expression, parachuting women continued to exert a great influence on designers.

Soaring aspirations, 1977

Soaring aspirations, 1977

Silver flowers against the azure sky, 1978

Silver flowers against the azure sky, 1978

Fairies are descending to the world, 1984

Fairies are descending to the world, 1984


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