November 25, 2009

Politics as Unusual: Space is the Chinese Place

China's space program began in the 1950s when the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship opened the doors in China to Soviet space technology.  In 1970, Dongfanghong-1 (The East is Red) was launched into space, making China the fifth country to launch a satellite into orbit.  In 1992, China inaugurated their manned space program, Project 921. Yan Liwei,  China's first Taikonaut, was launched into space in Shenzhou 5 on October. 15, 2003. 

The USA and USSR were the first two countries to launch people into space.  On the strength of a steady propaganda program and on-again-off-again space exploration program, China became the third nation to successfully put a human in space. Propaganda in the East had a much bumpier start than in the West.  Many of the early propaganda films and posters in Japan and China during the Second World War were completely lost on their audience.  Some films actually turned people off of the war entirely and were taken out of theaters immediately.  These imaginative and exotic posters, one can assume, made some kind of impact on Chinese citizens, but whether they did or not is perhaps largely irrelevant in an autocratic nation.  Chang'e 1, China's first unmanned lunar-orbitting spacecraft was launched October 24, 2007.  Under Project 921-2, China plans to soon build their own permanent manned space station (seen above).

Soar, youth of new China (19??)

A garden in outer space (1985)

Little guests in the Moon Palace (early 1970s)

I'm calling the stars (19??)

Take the spaceship and tour the universe (1962)

Heaven increases the years, man gets older (1985)
Bringing his playmates to the stars (1985)


Stefan Landsberger has a great collection of Chinese propaganda posters here. All the posters above that bear a coll.SRL stamp are from his website. 
The biggest collection of Chinese propaganda posters I've found online is here.

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