Propaganda and counter-propaganda

in the contemporary media environment


The block seminar took place at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (DE) between 23-31 January 2016 and it aimed at empowering the students with a deeper understanding of how the (moving) images as mass media content affect social and political processes and how their effects can be diverted through artistic interventions and through the act of appropriation.

Departing from a critical investigation of the 20th century most important early examples of propaganda movies (Frank Capra, Sergei Eisenstein, Leni Riefenstahl, etc), the theoretical part  introduced the criticism of the consumerism (Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Edward Bernays, Slavoj Žižek) tactical media usage of the ‘90s by presenting a few examples of these practices (The Yesmen). Based on a referenced assignment description the students were invited to produce by the end of the workshop short single screen documentary or pseudo-documentary video pieces based on interventions or/and found footage. 

Structurally the workshop consisted of three parts:
a. introduction, historical references (screenings, lecture, presentation 25%),
b. contemporary references (research, presentations by the participants to the workshop 25%), 

c. production assisted by group and individual tutorials (50%).

Participating students:

Radka Zeniskova/Walter Ramona,
Fels Miriam/Verena Ess,
Sarina Lux/Tong Lian Chao,
Timo Ell/Simao Capitao,
Marieke Kress/Lisa Leihe,
Milica Vlajkovic/Ulrich KreienbrinkF

Slides from the student’s videos
Introductory presentation slides by Szabolcs KissPál