When London encountered the hottest day of this summer, we went to see “Propaganda: Power and Persuasion” exhibition (until Sep 17th) at the British Library. We wanted to see the exhibition, but another reason for the visit was to cool ourselves down with the air-conditioner at the library.
The British Library is the national library, holding over 150 million items from many countries in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, manuscripts, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, videos, play-scripts, patents, databases, maps, stamps, prints, and drawings. It is one of the two largest libraries in the world, together with the Library of Congress of the United States. The library was originally a department of the British Museum but became separate in 1973, and by 1997 had moved into its new building at St Pancras.
“Propaganda: Power and Persuasion” exhibition explores international state propaganda from the 20th and 21st centuries, manifested in many forms such as posters, films, cartoons, sounds and texts. The famous propaganda is used to fight wars, but the exhibition also shows us how states try to combat against disease or to advocate a proper way to look after child.
Propaganda is aim to influence and persuade people to think in a particular way, and can be completely opposite between the sides; for example, between the Allies (USA, UK, Soviet Union etc) and the Axis (Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan) during the WWII, or the UK and its colonies during the British Empire. It was interesting to compare propaganda against each other, but the exhibition as a whole was not well organized and a bit confusing, like they are mixing two different things such as WWII and Iraqi war side by side. Also the propaganda about life and health was not comprehensive enough and could have been two separate shows from war time propaganda. For me, it doesn’t worth £9 per adult for the quality.