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Propaganda on Shellac, Vinyl and Plastic: The Politics of Record Production during the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976)

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When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, Shanghai’s recording industry was nationalized and turned into a propaganda enterprise. For the next decades, the China Record Factory became China’s sole recording company. This article investigates the politics of record production and the development and organization of China’s recording industry. Censorship and control reached its peak during the Cultural Revolution; almost simultaneously the distribution of revolutionary sounds increased via a new record format: flexible plastic records. While revolutionary enthusiasm hit the factories, the goal of spreading the voice of Mao Zedong motivated record production until the late 1960s. Afterwards, however, the narrow record repertoire, ever-changing political slogans and campaigns resulted in a behaviour of avoiding risk that affected the entire industry and severely hampered record distribution and propaganda especially in the provinces.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Contemporary Chinese Art
Vol/bind4
Nummer2-3
Sider (fra-til)221-241
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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