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Another One Bites the Dust!

April 2, 2010

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As a follow-up to the review I recently posted of the book Vietnam Posters (Prestel, 2009), I wanted to share what I thought was one of the most interesting aspects of the posters from Vietnam. Outside of Ho Chi Minh, the most replicated visual trope in Vietnamese posters from the War era is the downing of US airplanes and helicopters. Poster after poster show aircraft shot down in flames. When looked at together (see the dozen plus examples below!), it becomes quite an impressive collection of graphic interpretations, and shows how powerful this idea, knocking the militarily more advanced Americans out the sky, was to the mythology of the Vietnamese war effort. Most of these images are taken from the Vietnam Posters book, but a handful of additional examples are culled from two other sources: Jessica Harrison-Hall, Vietnam Behind the Lines (The British Museum Press, 2002) and Susan Martin, ed., Decade of Protest: Political Posters from the United States, Vietnam, Cuba (Smart Art Press, 1996).


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