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Thomas Wilson

MA work

Dissertation: An Interruption on the Wall: Political Posters in the Age of Mass Media, 1965-75

"Long live communication, down with telecommunication." This slogan, daubed on the walls of Paris during the evenements of May 1968, encapsulated a concern of poster designers of the time, as they sought to find alternative means of expressing political views in the face of what they perceived as an increasingly dominant mass media. Using Gramsci's notion of hegemony, my dissertation looks at political posters from France, America and Cuba in the period 1965-75, and considers the notion that they constitute a form of counter-hegemonic media.

By placing them in the media context of the time, I aim to show how posters sought to interrupt the hegemony of the mass media. This study covers a wide range of posters; as well as those produced by the Atelier Populaire in Paris, it also looks at posters by the Black Panthers and the Cuban propaganda agency OSPAAAL (Organisation for Solidarity with Asia, Africa and Latin America). It will show how posters attempted to direct a re-reading of the media through its own language and imagery, while continuing to function as a strong political polemic (especially in the context of the Third World). This study examines networks operating between the three countries, and considers how the appropriation and manipulation of posters can be seen as an alternative form of communication. I argue that political posters are as much a product of the devices of advertising, television and other media as they are of the social discourses of the time.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2008

  • Dissertation: An Interruption on the Wall: Political Posters in the Age of Mass Media, 1965-75

    "Long live communication, down with telecommunication." This slogan, daubed on the walls of Paris during the evenements of May 1968, encapsulated a concern of poster designers of the time, as they sought to find alternative means of expressing political views in the face of what they perceived as an increasingly dominant mass media. Using Gramsci's notion of hegemony, my dissertation looks at political posters from France, America and Cuba in the period 1965-75, and considers the notion that they constitute a form of counter-hegemonic media.

    By placing them in the media context of the time, I aim to show how posters sought to interrupt the hegemony of the mass media. This study covers a wide range of posters; as well as those produced by the Atelier Populaire in Paris, it also looks at posters by the Black Panthers and the Cuban propaganda agency OSPAAAL (Organisation for Solidarity with Asia, Africa and Latin America). It will show how posters attempted to direct a re-reading of the media through its own language and imagery, while continuing to function as a strong political polemic (especially in the context of the Third World). This study examines networks operating between the three countries, and considers how the appropriation and manipulation of posters can be seen as an alternative form of communication. I argue that political posters are as much a product of the devices of advertising, television and other media as they are of the social discourses of the time.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Bath Spa University, 2001
  • Experience

  • Designer, Red Stone Design, London, 2006; Designer, The Team, London, 2002-4