Students Staff

12 January 2009

Propaganda posters made public

Colchester Campus

A propaganda poster on display at the Lakeside Theatre

Propaganda posters from Mao Tse-Tung’s Cultural Revolution are to be displayed in the University of Essex’s Lakeside Theatre.

Produced during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), these propaganda posters were part of a campaign by the Communist Party to present the party line to the masses. Beautifully executed by professionally trained artists, they provide a powerful insight into China’s social, political and cultural recent past – during a particularly turbulent period in the country’s history.

Jess Kenny, Arts and Gallery Director, explains: ‘These images circulate through the commercial world of graphic and interior design, giving an almost iconic status to the political body that they frame. While China propels itself forward, these posters allow us to pause and consider the legacy of China’s recent past today.’

The posters were selected from an extraordinary collection at the University of Westminster and are on display at the Lakeside Theatre from Thursday 15 January to Thursday 19 February. The exhibition is open before and during all performances at the Lakeside Theatre and by appointment.

This exhibition forms part of the University’s partnership project with firstsite, This is China, which runs from Thursday 15 January to Thursday 19 February. It includes a residency by animation artist Sun Xun, screenings of Chinese short films, a performance by maverick live artists Mad for Real and a critical debate programme. Organised as part of the Jiangsu-Essex Festival, This is China has been made possible by support from Essex County Council and University of Essex alumni.


Notes to editors:
The attached image shows a propaganda poster that will be part of the exhibition. Further images are available on request.

The propaganda posters will be on display at the Colchester Campus from Thursday 15 January to Thursday 19 February. The Lakeside Theatre is open before and during all performances and by appointment.

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

...more news releases