From Picasso’s depiction of Guernica to the official British war art of the First and Second World Wars, visual art has played a key role in conveying images and messages relating to conflict.
Other forms of art - from music, theatre and poetry to film and architecture - have also been utilised for propaganda purposes: to recruit soldiers; justify wars; warn citizens of the dangers of ‘careless talk’; ridicule the enemy; demonstrate cultural prowess; celebrate or commemorate past events; as well as being a form of protest against war.
For Britain specifically, the works of Shakespeare have been used in several different ways to influence opinion, as explored more deeply in our Shakespeare and War exhibition.
In this revealing talk, Edward Corse will explore the complex relationship between the arts and wartime propaganda, focusing primarily on the 20th and 21st centuries.
Edward Corse is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of War, Media and Society, University of Kent, and at the Centre for the Study of Health, Ethics and Society, University of Hamburg.
He is the author of 'A Battle for Neutral Europe: British Cultural Propaganda During the Second World War' and co-editor, with Marta García Cabrera, of 'Propaganda and Neutrality: Global Case Studies in the 20th Century'.