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Propaganda: Power and Persuasion Exhibition

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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propaganda, power and persuasion, british library
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The Statue of Liberty stands on a stone pedestal; where did the stone come from?

When most of us think of propaganda, we are probably reminded of unscrupulous tactics used by the government to get people to sign up for the First World War. Many young men joined the army or Royal Airforce expecting to have a terrific time fighting and earning glory. Reality was very different. When World War Two reared its head, flyers declaring that 'your country needs you' were posted everywhere.

But propaganda isn't all about fighting wars, and it isn't all nefarious. Propaganda can be used to fight disease, bring people together, and increase trade. For the first time, the British Library are holding an exhibition that explores every facet of Propaganda. Power and Persuasion is on until the 17th September; it looks at the history of propaganda in the 20th century and follows through to present day. There are posters, films, cartoons, sounds, and texts from several different countries, as well as numerous events throughout the season. For example, on the 24th May Propaganda and Politics in the Modern Age looks at how propaganda has changed over the last hundred years, and between 28th-30th May you can take part in a free family workshop, where you will come up with your own promotional slogans. In June there will be a 7.50 film screening of Eisenstein's Strike, as well as several lectures and discussions.

Tickets to the exhibit are 9 for adults, 7 for seniors, and under 18s go free.

Oh, and if you know the answer to the question at the top of this article, then enter the Library's propaganda competition to win a trip to New York.
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Why? Learn Something
When: Until 17th Sept
Phone: 44 (0)1937 546060
Where: British Library
Cost: 9 adult, 7 senior, free for under 18s
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