The Moscow Olympics, like so many before it, provides the opportunity for political statements to be made, this time one focusing on Russia’s stance against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities (Reuters, 2013). One voice against this discrimination is an artist who uses classic Soviet propaganda images and gives them new life and meaning. Posting the work on Tumbler.com, a microblogging and social networking site owned by Yahoo, #PridePropaganda has redefined an array of images using the colors of the rainbow which can often be seen in other LGBT support events. A comparison can be seen below.
Imagery has long been used as a device to spread messages. Taylor (2003) points out that humans have used wide ranges of media such as rock paintings, currency, movies, television and newspapers to pass messages through imagery. Historically, images were used before mass literacy took hold because they convey information quickly, can evoke an emotional response and, when used for political purposes, can dramatically influence individuals to take collective action (Clark, 1997). Cognitively, we have the ability to see and recall imagery much faster than the written word. Further, it has the ability to continue to influence us from our subconscious and create the demand for solutions to current issues (Soules, 2007; Ellul, 1973).
Clark, T. (1997). Art and Propaganda in the Twentieth Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Ellul, J. (1973). Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. New York: Vintage.
Reuters. (2013, Aug 9). Russia Must Explain Its Anti-Gay Law, Says International Olympics Committee . Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/09/russia-gay-olympics-committee_n_3730925.html
Soules, M. (2007). Images and Propaganda: From the Sacred to the Profane. Retrieved from Media Studies: http://www.media-studies.ca/articles/images_propaganda.htm
Taylor, P. M. (2003). Munitions of the Mind. Manchester: Manchester University Press.