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Blog: Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Inquiry into Propaganda

The Studio Art 12 class at Yale Secondary engaged in an inquiry project based on propaganda that was used to convey a political message or specific point of view.  The project intent was to engage students by digging deeper into an issue with what they know and wonder while applying curricular competencies including critical thinking, analysis, reflecting, and reasoning.

Students examined issues that could be a current event, something fictitious, or even something satirical. Through their art, students created two pieces of propaganda, one piece arguing one point of view, while the other piece demonstrating an opposing perspective.

Through this project, students gained an understanding of what propaganda is and allowed them to analyze the perspectives behind it. Through sharing their projects with one another in class, students learned about a wide range of issues and learned to identify propaganda, critique it, and hopefully, avoid being manipulated by it.

The first example deals with the contemporary issue of immigration in Canada.  Note that on the left, people of different ancestries are literally being “white-washed”, implying that regardless of where an immigrant comes from, they are expected to act and behave as though they are of European ancestry when they come to Canada.  The image on the right suggests a very different stance.   Canada is a “melting pot” where regardless of where a person is from, they are welcome and entitled to maintain their culture, as this is what makes Canada the diverse nation that it is.  (Artist’s Credit: Kimberly Howitt)

The second example is both historical and satirical, providing a feminist critique of the value/merit of the corset in Victorian era women’s fashion. The artist argues that on one hand, the corset makes a woman “look better” and on the other, the artist argues that the corset is physically damaging – note “Death” pulling the woman’s corset tighter. (Artist’s Credit: Emily Krahn)

ROB SLOBODA
Principal, Yale Secondary School