Educated youth must go to the countryside to receive re-education ...
Designer: Revolutionary Committee of the Sichuan Art Academy (四川美术学院革命委员会供稿)
Educated youth must go to the countryside to receive re-education from the Poor and Lower-Middle peasants!
Zhishi qingnian dao nongcun qu, jieshou pinxiazhong nongde zaijiaoyu! (知识青年到农村去, 接受贫下中农的再教育!)
Publisher: Sichuan renmin chubanshe (四川人民出版社), print no. 69032
Call number: BG E15/35 (Landsberger collection)
From December 1968 onward, millions of urban youth (secondary school graduates and students) were sent "up to the mountains and down to the villages" (shangshan xiaxiang), i.e. to rural villages and to frontier settlements. There, they had to strike root, in order to be reeducated by the Poor and Lower-Middle peasants, the lowest classes in China. The main reason behind this relocation program was to bring the Red Guards under control and to halt the intense factional struggle and civil strife. With the schools still closed, the government did not know what to do with the millions of urban young.
One way to solve the problem was to send the students away to the rural areas. Judging from the many posters that were dedicated to shangshan xiaxiang, the youngsters all enjoyed the wholesome life in the countryside, and thrived under the stern but correct ideological guidance provided by the peasants. All this should transform them into "new-style, cultured peasants". The young intellectuals were also seen as conveyor belts for technology transfer, as bringers of new knowledge to the rural areas. The slogan in the background reads "Always follow the course of cooperation with workers-soldiers-peasants".