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Home » ART[icle]S, Europe Issue

Europe Issue: A Reality of a Big Society – Red Gallery London Exhibition

Submitted by on May 20, 2011 – 3:06 pmNo Comment


Big Society exhibition poster.

An exhibition about life in a Communist-era  town in the former East Germany is highlighting what its organisers claim is the real nature of the Prime Minister’s much vaunted ‘Big Society.’

The exhibition at the Red Gallery in Shoreditch displays the changing nature of the murals that once adorned the walls of a factory in the small town of Schwedt. During the Communist-era they portrayed image of  hope and community – but after re-unification that optimism faded and the town went into economic decline.

On show are copies of the murals, as well as films of life in the town and across Communist era East Germany.  These propagandist images depict the utopian ideals of an ideal world where smiling workers hold babies, everyone lives in harmony and industry, agriculture and work are the cornerstones of a perfect functioning society.

Exhibition organiser Ernesto Leal, said he wanted to use the exhibition to highlight what the ‘Big Society’ meant from his left-wing perspective. ‘’ I wanted to do something without being confrontational and make the images relevant to today. The Big Society is about people and workers working for all and what you do for society is also society.’’

He pointed out that the last time the Big Society was used by the right was by the Nazis, adding: ‘’So why should we let the right use this terminology again?”

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