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Propaganda & Fitness during the Cultural Revolution

China’s Cultural Revolution: When Sports Became Propaganda

30 Rare color and black and white images describe a different aspect of everyday life during the Cultural Revolution: the sporting life of the young and less young Chinese people.

The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) in China was a period marked by monumental socio-political upheaval, spearheaded by Mao Zedong to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society. While this era is often remembered for its intense political campaigns and struggles, it also had a lesser-known, yet vivid, aspect reflected in its emphasis on sports and physical fitness. A collection of rare color and black-and-white images offers a unique lens through which to view this facet of everyday life, showcasing how the regime promoted a robust, healthy lifestyle among its citizens, both young and old.

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Posters often featured slogans that encouraged collective participation in physical activities as part of civic duty to the state. These images portrayed an idealized vision of society—one that was dynamic, youthful, and above all, robustly healthy. The emphasis was clear: a strong body was synonymous with a strong nation. These promotional materials played a crucial role in mobilizing communities.

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They were active tools of engagement that called upon every citizen to participate in the physical culture movement. This was part of a broader strategy to cultivate loyalty and unity, fostering a sense of shared purpose and collective effort towards national goals.

Related images: Sino-Soviet Propaganda pictures, Navy drills during the Cultural Revolution, the destruction of a Confucian temple triggers the Cultural Revolution

Cultural Revolution propaganda images

A gallery of Communist China propaganda posters promoting healthy life.

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Topics: China Cultural Revolution sports imagery, communist ideology and physical fitness, using sports for propaganda, historical perspective on China’s Cultural Revolution, photos revealing hidden aspects of Cultural Revolution, China government control during Cultural Revolution

Last Updated on 2024/05/13

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