Visual Analysis – Proletarians of the World Unite!

Text reads "Proletarians of the World Unite" and "Down with the American Imperialists and Russian Revisionists!"

"Proletarians of the World Unite"

This particular poster stood out to me because of it’s incorporation of three different races defending the same cause. The image is very strong – the red and the black are particularly eye catching, not to mention representative of Red China. It appears that each of these soldiers is carrying the same doctrine, Chinese red lettering is on each of their pamphlets. From the left, there is a Caucasian-looking soldier, a Chinese or Asian soldier (though it is probably safe to assume Chinese here due to it being their positive propaganda), and a black soldier (assumed by me and the describer from the kaladarshan arts site to be an African). The brief information given from this site seems insightful. It states that these three soldiers represent an international community that is unified against its “oppressors.” It is assumed that this message is implying that all races and nations should join the fight against American imperialism and Russian revisionism. By standing united, these soldiers represent the harmony that could be acheived if China could lead the way into the future. The Chinese soldier stands in front of the other two men, and is also in the central-most position of the poster, representing leadership, power, and superiority. Despite the Chinese soldier’s superior positioning, the cartoon image of both the Caucasion (“American”) and the Black (“African”) are well defined and flattering. They are strong soldiers with sharp muscular tone and serious demeanors, serious to the cause that they are defending side by side with the Chinese soldier (pamphlets in hand). They are also equipped with the same guns, which can deemed to be another sign of their equality and unified effort. They are one army with the same goal in mind – each soldier looks determined and faces the same direction staring.

The Red globe behind the soldiers represents a communist world led by the superior Chinese, spreading their message abroad and allowing minorities and all countries to join in the cause. According to the website where this poster can be found, the Chinese writing across the top reads “Proletarians of the World Unite!” while the bottom reads “Down with American Imperialists and Russian Revisionists!”

I personally found it odd that this propaganda is implying semi-equality between races. I guess I assumed that the Chinese, like most nations, assumed superiority. At the same time, that superiority is still somewhat intact due to the Chinese soldiers positioning as afore mentioned, and the fact that the whole world is changing its ways to those of the Chinese. This just serves as a reminder that cartoons and pictures can be analyzed in many different ways – it depends on the biases and knowledgability of the analyzer (who in this case is me, and I have some more Chinese studying to do).

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