Marquand and East Asian Libraries collect Chinese COVID-19 posters
Recently, Marquand Art and Archaeology Library and the East Asian Library jointly acquired a collection of 32 Chinese COVID-19 posters. The posters cover a range of topics, from public health information to political propaganda, during the COVID-19 epidemic in China.
These posters not only document the Chinese Communist Party’s reaction to the pandemic, but also showcase how political slogans and public health efforts are going hand in hand.
The posters are characterized by their public health messaging (mask wearing), their militaristic language (war of the epidemic and the fight with the virus), their comic and manga aesthetics, their depicted symbolic heroism of health care and other front line workers (heroes, epidemic soldiers), their rallying cries (plea for Wuhan to endure local hardship for the national good), their nationalistic propaganda (the Chinese nation as the only nation of 5,000 years unbroken history), their use of classical literary composition, and the intended tight control of public opinion (no spreading of rumors).
These posters will be of great interest to students and scholars doing research on contemporary China, especially in the area of public health policy, political communication, media and cultural studies, propaganda, and design.
The posters are available for viewing online via the catalog. The Library is actively working with partners to further expand this collection.
Written by Joshua Seufert, Chinese Studies Librarian
Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications