Building a nation: the construction of modern China through CCP's propaganda images

Bellinetti, Maria Caterina (2018) Building a nation: the construction of modern China through CCP's propaganda images. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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To date, the study of Chinese propaganda photography has been limited. While some research has been made on post-1949 photography, the photographic production of the pre-1949 period has not been sufficiently explored. Focusing on the years of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), this thesis aims at addressing this gap in the literature and at providing an analysis of how the Chinese Communist Party exploited photography for propaganda purposes during the war. Through the images taken by Party-affiliated photographers and printed on the Jin Cha Ji Pictorial, the first Communist photographic propaganda magazine, this study aims to show how this type of visual propaganda aimed not only at narrating the events of the war against Japan, but also at creating a new idea of the Chinese nation.
This thesis is divided into four chapters. The first, The Jin Cha Ji Pictorial: A Brief History presents the history of the magazine and the work of the CCP affiliated photographers who contributed to its creation and popularity. Chapter two, The Geography of a Revolution, explores how a new cultural landscape was visually constructed to create the basis of the political legitimation that the CCP needed during wartime. Chapter three, Becoming Modern Women, investigates the symbolic and ideological value of the spinning wheel in 1943 in relation to women’s contribution to the war effort and the thorny issue of women empowerment. Lastly, chapter four, Moulding the Future looks at the visual representation of childhood and discusses the issue of militarisation and masculinisation of childhood during wartime.
This study ends with few considerations on the propagandistic, historical and artistic value of Communist propaganda photography during the Second Sino-Japanese War as well as a reflection on how the symbolic and ideological significance of some of the photographs presented here are still recognisable in contemporary Chinese propaganda.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: photography, propaganda, visual culture, war photography, children studies, women, gender studies, childhood, landscape, cultural geography, China, Japan, WWII, Second World War, Second Sino-Japanese War, Chinese Communist Party, CCP, Mao Zedong, Sha Fei, Jin Cha Ji Pictorial, Jin Cha Ji Huabao, Shi Shaohua, Wu Yinxian, Luo Guangda, Li Tu, Wang Xiaoting, Jiefang Ribao, Resistance Daily, visual propaganda, indoctrination, Yan'an.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
T Technology > TR Photography
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Pearce, Professor Nick and Lewer, Dr. Deborah
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Maria-Caterina Bellinetti
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30913
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 14:04
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 08:46

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