The Realities of Occupation. Posters in Lithuania during World War I and World War II
Number of pages: 228
Publisher: VŠĮ Vilniaus grafikos meno centras
This catalogue created by Giedrė Jankevičiūtė and Laima Laučkaitė is an exclusive publication. The research on cultural life and artistic expression during World War I and World War II is a very recent phenomenon. For a long time the countries occupied during those wars have been approached solely from the perspective of the political or military history. However, the time range – the recently commemorated 100th anniversary marking the start of WW I and 70th anniversary marking the end of WW II – has liberated our visual and reflective perception.
The catalogue of posters during the two world wars has breathed new life into the posters largely neglected until now. Initially, they were put up in the streets – threatening, cheering for a moment or just informing or warning – yet destined to end being dirty, torn or plastered with new posters over them. In the catalogue they become the subjects of a scientific research – the introductory texts and analytical comments feature them in the war time reality, relate to the strategies of propaganda, and add information on the analogous unpublished examples. A unique annex to the catalogue looks innovative – the stenograph of the discussion held at the exhibition.
The catalogue images may come as a surprise: triumphant solders of WW I featuring the apotheosis of German expansion, instructions for the “locals” written in the contemptuous tone, the portraits of Hitler during WW II, anti-Semitic texts, and next to them come warnings about parasites and elegant announcements about art exhibitions, concerts… Such the combination may be shocking but it represents truly eloquent evidence that violence, oppression and poverty become the only dimensions of human being under no circumstances.
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