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Review : 'Weapons of Mass Communication' at the Imperial War Museum


The exhibition ‘Weapons of Mass Communication’ at the Imperial War Museum is a wonderful introduction to a great collection of war posters and propaganda. Curated brilliantly, this exhibition covers the artistic, historical and cultural significance of a visual archive. The quality and artistic reference of the posters, largely from the 1st and 2nd world wars, pose important questions in their contrast with the history they document. Creative aesthetic meets the horrors of war and displays how visual culture recorded as well as dictated the contemporary zeitgeist. Arranged in order of theme and region, the exhibition contrasts the agendas and tone that different warring nations preferred in their propaganda to the public; the chipper domestic camaraderie of the British advice to ‘Dig for Victory!’ differing with the romantic archaism of France’s Marianne, who leads the empire into victory with flag and tattered robes. This exhibition is highly accessible and can be enjoyed as a light introduction to poster art, or a deeper starting point for historical and political discussion. Well recommended.

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