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Dazibao on display at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, entitled “ Fire at anti-Party anti-Socialist “Vulture” Zhan — who has sneaked into the Party” (向钻进党内的反党反社会主义的坐山鵰詹 — 开火). Names have been obscured for ethical reasons.

Exhibiting the Cultural Revolution, Part 1: Reading “Big-Character Posters”

As part of the Fairbank Center’s exhibition of dazibao (大字报 “big-character posters”) and woodcuts from 1960s China, we present a four-part series on Cultural Revolution-era artworks. Denise Ho, Assistant Professor of History at Yale University, presents part 1: an introduction to dazibao and their impact on Maoist China and beyond.

Read Part 2: The Visual Spectacle of “Dazibao” by Xiaofei Tian on our blog.

Read Part 3: Dazibao Exhibitionism by Jie Li on our blog.

Read Part 4: Pictoral Posters by Julia Murray on our blog.

The exhibition, “Red and Black Revolution: Dazibao and Woodcuts from 1960s China” is on display at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from November 9 -30, 2017.

Watch and listen again to the panel discussion celebrating the launch of our world-debut exhibition of Cultural Revolution-era artworks, featuring Denise Ho, Julia Murray, Xiaofei Tian, Jie Li, and Roderick MacFarquhar.

Big-Character-Poster, Defined

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Dazibao from 1967 entitled, “Thoroughly wipe out the poisonous weeds!” (坚决彻底铲除这棵大毒草”), on display at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, November 9–30, 2017.

Antecedents

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Photograph: Jiang Shaowu, “Posters by Shenyang Red Guards in Tiananmen Square,” Beijing, 1966. From “Red: China’s Cultural Revolution,” Jiang Jiehong, Jonathan Cape Press, London, 2010, p.190

Cultural Revolution

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Dazibao entitled “Rebel against the bourgeoisie” (“造资产階级反”), English translation: “Rebel against the bourgeoisie, A Supreme Instruction: Never forget the class struggle. The counter-revolutionaries put on a disguise to hide their true features and to give a false impression. But since they oppose the revolution, it is impossible for them to cover up their true features entirely. Rip off the Mask of Li — , the Counter-revolutionary double-dealer!”

As Information

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Pasting dazibao to the wall ahead of the Ninth Party Congress in 1969, described as “a turtle’s egg rolling into the Great Hall of the People.” Image: Marc Riboud, 1978. “The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years,” Jonathan D. Spence and Annping Chin ( eds.), Random House, New York, 1996, p.216.

Legacies

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Denise Ho is an Assistant Professor of History at Yale University. Her forthcoming book, Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China (Cambridge University Press, 2017) asks how the Communist revolution transformed China’s political culture.

The exhibition, “Red and Black Revolution: Dazibao and Woodcuts from 1960s China” is on display at Harvard University’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from November 9 -30, 2017.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at @Harvard…

Fairbank Center Blog

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The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at @Harvard University is a world leading center for the study of #China.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at @Harvard University is a world-leading center for the study of China.

Fairbank Center Blog

Written by

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at @Harvard University is a world leading center for the study of #China.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at @Harvard University is a world-leading center for the study of China.

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