Canadian War Museum

Canadian War Museum

November 17, 2005 13:35 ET

Canadian War Museum: Visually Compelling Exhibition Explores the Power of Propaganda in Wartime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 17, 2005) - A thought-provoking exhibition focusing on the persuasive powers of visual propaganda from the First and Second World Wars as well as the Spanish Civil War opens today at the Canadian War Museum (CWM).

Weapons of Mass Dissemination: The Propaganda of War, an exhibition developed by The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, features posters, books, toys, and postcards from more than a dozen countries, which inspired people to make sacrifices and contributions to hasten victory. This Special Exhibition expands upon the theme of propaganda presented in the Permanent Exhibition. Among the striking images on display in this visually compelling exhibition, we find young female recruits urging women to enlist, wounded soldiers asking fellow citizens to take on their share of the load, and the enemy depicted almost as demons.

"We are delighted to present this cutting-edge exhibition, which prompts us to think deeply about the uses of propaganda in times past and present," said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. "The Canadian component we have added also opens new perspectives on our nation's use of propaganda during the two world wars."

"Weapons of Mass Dissemination is an excellent example of the Canadian War Museum's commitment to offer visitors exhibitions that challenge our perceived ideas and opinions," said Joe Geurts, Director and CEO of the CWM. "This exhibition illustrates superbly how countries combined imagery and words to encourage citizens to contribute to the war effort."

The Canadian component of the exhibition includes posters from the Museum's collection, footage from the National Film Board (NFB), special programming workshops, and an historical introduction to Canadian propaganda in the First and Second World wars. In addition, a school programme is offered for grades 7-12 and Secondary 1-5.

Public programming for the exhibition includes a film series with screenings of Second World War propaganda films from the NFB, and documentaries and digital art presentations by contemporary Canadian filmmakers and artists. In weekend workshops, visitors will be able to create their own propaganda posters, or explore how newspaper and magazine editors shape the news we read.

Weapons of Mass Dissemination: The Propaganda of War will be on view at the Canadian War Museum until April 30, 2006. The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 9 p.m.

This exhibition is organized by the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida.

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