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7 Cultural Revolution memorabilia

Cultural Revolution memorabilia – A collection of propaganda material made by the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution (National Library of Denmark).

The Cultural Revolution was a sociopolitical movement that took place in China from 1966 until 1976.

Its goal was to re-impose Maoist thought as the dominant ideology within the Party by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society.

One of the stated goals of the Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China was to bring an end to the Four Olds.

The campaign to Destroy the Four Olds and Cultivate the Four News (破四旧立四新; Pò Sìjiù Lì Sìxīn) began in Beijing on August 19 1966.

The Four Olds or the Four Old Things (四旧; sì jiù) were Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas.

Related articles: Sino-Soviet propaganda images, Fitness during the Cultural Revolution, the destruction of a Confucian temple triggers the Cultural Revolution

Photos of Cultural Revolution propaganda material

cultural-revolution-statue-Cultural Revolution memorabilia
Cultural Revolutionary Sculpture (1968). The red guard holds a machine gun and a red book of Mao (毛主席 语录, Mao zhuxi yulu), as he walks on an elderly kneeling person (professor?). The old man is wearing an aign on the hat saying 打倒 臭老九 (Dadao chou lao jiu: beat the dirty old teacher; Stinking Old Ninth (臭老九) is a Chinese dysphemism for intellectuals) and a sign saying: 反動 學术 权威 (Fandong xueshu quanwei: Reactional academic authority).

The first things to change were the names of streets and stores. Many people also changed their given names to revolutionary slogans, such as Zhihong (志红, “Determined Red”) or Jige (继革, “Following the Revolution”).

Other manifestations of the Red Guard campaign included giving speeches, posting big-character posters, and harassment of people, such as intellectuals, who defiantly demonstrated the Four Olds.

In later stages of the campaign, examples of Chinese architecture were destroyed, classical literature and Chinese paintings were torn apart, and Chinese temples were desecrated.

The Cemetery of Confucius was attacked in November 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, when it was visited and vandalized by a team of Red Guards from Beijing Normal University, led by Tan Houlan.

The corpse of the 76th-generation Duke Yansheng was removed from its grave and hung naked from a tree in front of the palace during the desecration of the cemetery in the Cultural Revolution. [wikipedia]

Vase. 1968. Mao Zedong with his old close friend Lin Biao. Lin Biao died 3 later

During the first phase of the Cultural revolution, Lin supported Mao, and Mao promoted him to higher political offices. After Mao’s second-in-command, President Liu Shaoqi, was denounced as a “capitalist roader” in 1966, Lin Biao emerged as the most likely candidate to replace Liu as Mao’s successor.

Lin attempted to avoid this promotion, but accepted it on Mao’s insistence.

Privately, Lin opposed the purging of Liu and Deng Xiaoping, on the grounds that they were “good comrades”, but was not able to publicly oppose Mao’s condemnation of them.

Lin’s passivity was part of a calculated plan to survive the Cultural Revolution alive and well.

In his relationship with Mao, Lin adopted a policy of “three ‘nos’: no responsibility; no suggestions; no crime”.

In 1966 Lin directed Red Guards in Beijing to “smash those persons in power who are traveling the capitalist road, the bourgeoisie reactionary authorities, and all royalists of the bourgeoisie, and to forcibly destroy the “four olds”: old culture, old ideas, old customs, and old habits.

Lin died when a plane carrying him and several members of his family crashed in Mongolia on September 13, 1971, allegedly after attempting to assassinate Mao and defect to the Soviet Union. [wikipedia]

Flyer in color with red-haired women who hold ‘Maos little red’ and a red flag with Mao quote: 补丁绝续,不怕牺牲,排除万难,取证最省力 (Buding juexu, bupa xisheng, paichu wannan, quzheng zui shengli – Continue our path, resolute and unafraid of sacrifice, surmount every difficulty)
Mao Zedong teapot, 1965. Modern teapot from Yixing (The city is famous for its teapots) with portrait of Mao Zedong in profile and inscription 丰衣足食 自己 動手 (Fengyi zushi ziji dongshou: Abundance comes of enough food, so start working)
Enameled metal sign with portrait of Mao Zedong in black and white including one sentence: Always loyal to Chairman Mao, 永远 忠于 毛主席 in yellow on red background.
Red-gourd bag in fabric with dark green shoulder strap. On the front image of Mao Zedong’s birthplace at 韶山 (Shaoshan) in Hunan province. On the back a 林彪 (Lin Biao) quote about Mao Zedong.
Chinese Emblems from the Cultural Revolution.

Source: National Library of Denmark, Swedish Open Cultural Heritage via Europeana 

Topic: Cultural Revolution memorabilia,Chinese propaganda material

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