The subject that I wanted to create a story about was propaganda, using visual images for political means. I thought this would be a great topic to explore in a short video because the pictures largely speak for themselves, which is the entire point of propaganda. As an educational tool, this would be invaluable in teaching about propaganda, the pictures simply speak for themselves. You can read extensively about propaganda pieces such as these, but it isn’t really possible to grasp their impact until you can experience the visual image yourself. It is true that pictures are worth a thousand words, and in this case you almost don’t need any words. I deliberately selected several images and didn’t provide a translation because the power of the image makes the translation almost irrelevant.
Animoto proved relatively easy to use, I didn’t experience any major technical difficulties with it. At first I was really hampered by the text limitations, it impeded my ability to annotate the posters. I felt like I was writing a volume of propaganda haiku. In the end, though, I embraced the idea and grew to like the speed at which the images zoomed by. If you were seeing one of these images on the street or in a magazine ad, you probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to stare and process the image. These posters are meant to convey their message as quickly as possible to the viewer, and so the quick format actually enhanced the educational value of the video, I felt. It also taught me that there is value in moderating my commentary and when working in a digital medium sometimes its best to let the images do the ‘talking.’
Video can be found here
One small warning, I used some anti-American, Soviet and Nazi posters in this, which might be something to keep in mind if you want to view in a public place.