WWI Propaganda Image Detective

Propaganda Poster 1

Lest Liberty Perish from the Face of the Earth – Buy Bonds Source
Propaganda is meant to send a message to the people viewing it, typically its meant to motivate them to think a certain way or do something. What is going on in this image? What statue is that? Who is being attacked?
What is the message of this picture? What is at stake? What does this poster want people to do? Do you think the picture as a whole is conveying its message successfully? How would you feel if you saw this?

Propaganda Poster 2

Let’s Take Care of the Poultry. I am a Fine War Hen. I Eat Little and Produce a Lot Source
What is going on in this picture? “Soignons la Basse-cour” translates to “lets take care of the poultry.” This was created by a 16 year-old girl. Why do you think she created this?
This translates to “I am a fine war hen. I eat little and produce a lot” When paired with “lets take care of the poultry” what does this poster want people to do? If this was created by a 16 year old, what does this poster say about the French war effort during WWI?
Give Your Money for Victory: Victory Means Peace Source
What is going on in this picture? What is it implying? What does it say about the Italian war effort? “Banca Italiana di Sconto” translates to “Italian Discount Bank” who are sponsoring this poster. What does the bank want people to do?
This translates to “Give Your Money for Victory: Victory Means Peace.” Based on these propaganda posters, what do you think people were most concerned about during WWI? Do you think these posters were effective ways of achieving people’s participation in the war effort? What are modern forms of propaganda and how do we spot them?

One Reply to “WWI Propaganda Image Detective”

  1. Nice use of resources at WDL to find these 3 iconic WWI posters. From a content point of view they all share the same goal – to rouse support on the home front. Interesting that the US poster would showcase the Statue of Liberty melting down and NYC in flames. Kind of a stretch literally, but a powerful figurative image. Who thought the Germans would make it to the US?

    Interesting that a young girl made the French poster. Makes me wonder if there was a contest to solicit those? Her work is very mature and certainly has the visual style of the era.

    The Italian one is very direct and to the point. Turn money into a big gun aimed at the Alps. Boom.

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