Mass media and propaganda in 20th century Europe

Are you sure you always think for yourself? That you can pick out disinformation, fake news and propaganda from the stream of information you process every day? This exhibition shows you just how far some people, governments or regimes will go to influence your heart and mind through the use of mass propaganda.

Mass propaganda continues to be a tool of many dictatorial regimes, from the extreme right-wing to the most left-wing authoritarian states. These regimes go hand-in-hand with populist figures who use newspapers, radio, cinema and television to strengthen their power or even to justify atrocities.

Advances in technology have drastically changed how everyone shares information and communicates - and that's no different for the propagandists. In the past, dictators invested heavily in the production of posters, newsreels, radio and television programmes. Today, social media and the internet have opened new horizons to reach the public digitally, at relatively low cost.

Globally, we consume more audiovisual material now than ever before. With the rising popularity of social media platforms, people around the world can share information in just a few seconds. So, propaganda and disinformation isn’t a practice that’s confined to history books or archives, it is happening right now – just look at Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. This exhibition highlights important examples of political propaganda from the 20th century that help us reflect on our world today.