Reaction: For our propaganda campaign myself and Eric wanted to provide a campaign filled with popular images, such as popular memes on social media and also cartoon strips either making fun or describing aspects of the gun control debate. Visual images provide a different outlet for people to react to certain topics than hearing an audio recording. Images allow for the audience to come to their own conclusion on a topic rather than being told specifically what is what. Even though our campaign is anti-gun control and is specifically aimed at conveying that message, the images used can still theoretically push others to the pro side of gun control due to the nature of them.
After many years at war the world was divided in two. Four leaders emerged at the end of the massive conflict, each controlling their respective hemispheres. Emily and Jess formed an alliance and have ruled the Northern Hemisphere ever since, while Jack and Bruce dominate the South. This map illustrates how the world looks today:
It has been decided by these leaders that countries in both the North and South will be given the option to defect to the other side or stay with their current leadership on November 2nd, Defection Day. Each side has created propaganda that has spread across the globe for months on end. Numerous commercials and posters have been circulating to try and persuade the other side to defect. These are some of their propaganda material:
This Northern propaganda commercial has been airing on Southern televisions for months and has become quite popular throughout the globe.
Northern posters can be found on just about every street corner in the Southern hemisphere.
This Southern propaganda video, which slanders Jess and Emily’s leadership, has been seen by millions of viewers in the Northern Hemisphere:
These Southern posters can be found throughout world, trying to convince Northerners to head South and Southerns to remain where they are:
Decisions will be made November 2nd, but the consequences are still unknown.
We created the propaganda videos to imitate modern day political campaigns that try to either slander the other side or promote themselves. Creating the fictional world allowed us to try and persuade others to either fight or defect from their current leadership, just like numerous times throughout modern day history. Throughout the World Wars, both sides tried to depict the enemy as an evil force that needed to be dealt with, such as the Hun campaigns run by the United States during the Great War. Many cases of propaganda like what we created was seen throughout the the Great War. For instance the Germans attempted to persuade the black population not to fight for the United States because of past treatment of the community. We wanted to capture some of those same techniques in our own respective campaigns.
Bolton, Humphrey. “Wentworth Castle, Stainborough.” Photograph. September 13, 2009. Geograph.org.uk, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wentworth_Castle,_Stainborough_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1501819.jpg (accessed October 22, 2014).
For our propaganda project we decided to do good and bad politician style ads on a topic near and dear to all our hearts, the Convergence Center. We decided to take a different approach to the idea of propaganda, instead focusing on more modern ways that it is still seen in American society. The project taught us how easily it is to spin something either in a positive or negative light. With the right kind of music, effects or coloring, you can take something and turn it into whatever you want. We discovered it was much easier to manipulate something into being negative than it was for us to create our positive ad despite the fact that the ITCC is obviously a very good thing. We used many different tools for this project including Photoshop to edit the pictures we took with our phones, and iMovie to put both the ads together. We collectively came up with the idea for the ads, and wrote the scripts, although we did make Eily the star of both ads. She has officially become the poster child for the ITCC.
Our group did a propaganda campaign opposing gun control laws. We found a good number of images that help portray our position on the subject. The pictures we chose use two different strategies, a satiric approach and a direct approach. We chose a fair amount of comedic pictures because satire is so useful for grabbing peoples attention and getting them to think about a subject. The serious pictures were used because this is a serious subject and should be treated as such. The point of those pictures was the hammer the point home that guns are important for protection. Here are two of the pictures we liked the best.
This is one of the biggest arguments of anti-gun control, that just because the average person can’t have a gun, doesn’t mean that will stop actual criminals with guns.
We liked this picture because it focuses on the idea of protecting your families, and particularly your kids, which relatable to everyone.
Group six decided make a propaganda campaign for the movie Equilibrium, a dystopian science fiction film. The movie is set in a futuristic society (it takes place in 2072) named Libria, where citizens take a drug called Prozium to suppress their emotions and foster obedience to the totalitarian regime. The regime incinerates contraband items that have the potential to stimulate emotion such as music, art, and literature. Citizens who possess contraband and do not take Prozium are known as Sense Offenders. The law enforcement, called the Grammaton Clerics, destroy contraband and execute Sense Offenders.
Our group chose to create visual forms of propaganda to reflect the complexity of Librian governmental control. Visual propaganda is almost inherently a form of art because it has an aesthetic specific to its creators. Since art is banned in Libria, we faced the challenge of deciding what images were acceptable to be displayed. This ambiguity was compounded by the fact that Libria is set in a digital age where photography could easily be considered a form of art. Because images are so integral to visual propaganda, we decided to primarily use photographs to convey the messages. We chose dark images that fit the artistic style of the movie. These images fit the perspective of the regime: they portray the arts and individuality as dangerous and destructive. The darkness of the images suggests that the denial of emotion coupled with duty and obedience to the regime are the only ways that humans can continue to survive in a world that would otherwise be ripped apart by emotion. Our posters seek to accomplish the goals of the regime by influencing citizen’s perceptions and controlling their behaviors. They use scare tactics to deter citizens from using contraband while flag-waving encourages them to take Prozium and report Sense Offenders.
Likewise, the propaganda video relies on disturbing historical images and darkness to visually convey the dangers of human emotion. We chose to make the film silent since the regime banned music. We also decided against having sound effects or a voiceover, instead allowing the full weight of the words and images to sink into the viewer. The pressure created by darkness and solemnity of the white words on the black background resolves with the appearance of the national flag at the end of the video. The patriotic flag conveys the authority of the government with the assurance that those who submit to the regime and its use of Prozium will survive. The ad nauseum repetition of the video and the posters seeks to make the citizens accept the fact that emotions and emotional stimuli will destroy their society.
We used quotes and screencaps from the movie to make our video.
Equilibrium. DVD. Directed by Kurt Wimmer. 2002; New York City, NY :Dimension Films, 2003.
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“Separating parents forced to attend custody classes so they realize damage to children.” Daily Mail, September 25, 2010. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315115/Separating-parents-forced-attend-custody-classes-realise-damage-children.html (accessed October 29, 2014).
Woollaston, Victoria. “Forget brain training: Playing a musical instrument can sharpen your thoughts – and help ward off depression and dementia.” Daily Mail, September 27, 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2435013/Forget-brain-training-Playing-musical-instrument-sharpen-thoughts–help-ward-depression-dementia.html (accessed October 29, 2014).
For the propaganda project our group decided to make banned book posters. We got this idea from the book and movie Fahrenheit 451. Each of us decided to pick a book that has been banned. The book I chose was Slaughterhouse -Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. One of my all time favorite movies is the original footloose and there is a scene in the movie when Ren, the main character, is talking with some of the members of his aunt’s church. They are discussing classic books and he says that Slaughter house- five is a classic. They respond with ugly looks and scoff at the idea of one reading a book that has been said to be filth. There is also a scene in the movie where they are burning books because they believe that it presents bad ideas for the younger generation. Slaughterhouse-five was banned because of the very vulgar scenes and language that was used in the book. The book also presented an “anti-Christianity” view. The government did not want the book in schools or available for people because it was considered “pure filth”. The book is no longer banned, but it had a lasting impact on the literary world.
Donelson, Ken. “ “Filth” and “Pure Filth” in our Schools—Censorship of Classroom books in the Last Ten Years.” The English Journal 86 (Feb. 1997)21-25.
Donelson, Ken. “Censorship in the 1970’s” The English Journal 63 (Feb. 1974): 47-51
When starting this project I first thought this was going to be easy. My second though was governments and various other public agencies do this all the time. That is, using propaganda for the negative: to brainwash, to bring people into their arena, but also to initiate them into a specific agency or group’s way of thinking.
That is when I started to think, and I began to realize that it was no easy task to create a project around propaganda because not only do you realize that you are using propaganda in a negative way, but also you are using it to sway people in the direction of how and what you want them to think. I immediately thought of V for Vendetta, which I have attached a clip to this post. I then thought of Hitler and his book Mein Kampf.
When we came together as a group, I was ecstatic to know we were doing a project around books, more specifically themed around the popular Fahrenheit 451. After we discussed a specific theme for our project we chose specific political books that would be banned if legislation was passed to remove books from the shelf. I chose Mein Kampf.
I chose Mein Kampf for a specific reason; that is, Hitler’s ideology was an extremely successful piece of literature that impacted Germany and made Germans feel they had a purpose. Though, much of the book is extremely vulgar and controversial, its power over a mass of people is undeniable. The idea that words could have that much impact on people reveals how much people pay attention to the details and the little things we all believe are just a part of communication. Though it is a broad stretch, think about that one thing your wife said to you about two days ago, and you cannot get it out of your head. Or think about that terrible thing your friend said about you in Middle School, five years later you remember it all.
That is words have powerful messages and getting rid of these messages would be vital for any government to censor. More importantly destroy. Thus, propaganda against books is probably the most intriguing project we have done all semester.