I have begun structuring my book. I divided up the chapters in accordance with the major events. There will be 7 chapters, each with 4-6 events that are closely tied together. For a more direct comparison, I made the decision to write 2 separate books, each with the same events in the same chapters. I am still not sure about this decision though, as I still find it difficult to make direct comparisons between the two points of view. Nevertheless, each of the 7 chapters will have a specific time period, which will also make the comparison more clear.
I also had the idea of writing the books in a diary form, as it will be the best way to illustrate the different points of view. However, for now, establishing a solid plot and series of events is my priority.
I have been continuing to research about the Japanese rule in Korea, and have chosen some events that I thought was crucial and should be included in my work. The story will be surrounding these events, in different perspectives. And as I was choosing the events, I noticed that it would be very difficult to write the book in the perspective of individuals, since not all of the events affect them. As a result, I will be writing in the perspective of the nation, although I will have much flexibility within that boundary. Also, one interesting fact I found was that Japan was also using propaganda during its reign in Korea.
In terms of strict propaganda, the only form, or the most actively used form of propaganda for Stalin was art, such as posters seen in the last post. These posters were meant to portray Stalin as a god-like figure, an individual with an absolute authority and control. However, propaganda, it seems, was only one of his methods to maintain power and control within his nation. Nevertheless, with a looser definition of propaganda, it is possible to extend upon the different forms of propaganda used by Stalin, or other forms of political tools that aided accomplishing the goal of his propagandas. Here they are:
- Censorship - censorship, despite being very different from propaganda in that it is strictly the act of banning works of literature or art, or any other form for a specific purpose, those nevertheless help the consolidation of the image Stalin was attempting to create of himself. Stalin censored all press items that presented a negative image of himself, including other forms of work such as books. Furthermore, in order to emphasize his superiority, Stalin would “photo-shop” his photos in order to eliminate any rivals from the pictures, exalting himself.
- Vs. Religion – Stalin wanted absolute control. Thus, he feared that huge institution like churches and mosques, could take away some of the loyalty from the people. As a result, Stalin closed down more than 40,000 churches and 25000 mosques during his reign, making his people worship him as a god, rather than the gods worshiped in the separate religions.
As I was looking for documents and articles about Stalin and his use of propaganda, an idea popped up in my head. Why not take a look at the propaganda’s myself? Even though I am living in a different environment, in a different time period, taking a look at the actual propaganda’s myself and observing them seemed to be a great idea.
Although I wasn’t able to translate the text, the message is quite clear. Stalin is proudly holding a happy-looking baby, who has a Soviet flag in her hand. Consequently, the value of the Soviets become something that is pure and just, as even young babies like the one shown above is upholding those values, represented by the flag, and Stalin, by supporting this girl, is supporting its values of Soviet/communism. So through this picture, Stalin was able to justify values and actions.
As I confronted this propaganda, one thing that struck me was the constancy of Stalin, in terms of his facial features. Almost nothing have changed, conveying the idea that he is a trustworthy individual, who maintains and believes in his values and views. Also, the women surrounding him are saying, according to the subtitle, “This is peace.” Even though this is a huge assertion, it nevertheless creates a sense of prosperity, along with the grand portrait of Stalin and the color red, which symbolizes passion.
As I was doing some basic research in order to decide which topic I will use to write by book, I came across some articles that had comments by people from various nationalities.
The articles were about Korea under Japanese rule, and many people from Korea as well as Japan were having many debates about the history of the two nations during this specific period. As I had some basic knowledge about the way Koreans were treated by Japanese during this period, I was irritated reading many comments that were trying to justify the actions of Japanese during this era. I had the desire to prove them wrong(if I was actually “right”), but it was imperative for me to take into account their point of view too.
Taking one step back, I realized that even factual things can be presented in a way that can be advantageous to one side.
As a result, in the matter of few hours, I became determined to write about Korea under Japanese rule.
As this conflict was between the people of Korea and the political powers, as well as the soldiers of Japan, I decided to write the book in the point of view of the people of Korea, and that of the political leaders of Japan, compared to the point of view of the people of Korea and that of the people of Japan, as Japanese citizens, as far as I know, for now, did not play a direct role in this conflict.
I will be writing a historical fiction, divided into 2 sections. Again, the two versions of the story will be surrounding the same events, so that it is easier to compare the differences resulting from different points of view.
Even though I haven’t finished referencing the book (Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion), I checked out another book from the library today. Titled (The birth of the propaganda state), it is written by Peter Kenez, a historian who specializes in Eastern European history and especially Russian History.
Just as the title suggests, the book covers the early developmental stages of the Soviet propaganda system.
The first part of the book, which I have been reading so far, recollects the development of Bolshevik propaganda methods during their revolutionary period, first establishing a very close study of the press and its role in the revolution.
Despite the fact that I’ve only read the first chapter of the book, I noticed that the book focuses on the experience of the people rather than that of the powerful political leaders. Consequently, I will be able to have a better understanding of what effect the use of the propaganda had on the people.
While I am aware of the fact that I still need to do much more research about Stalin’s propaganda, I wanted to at least begin working on my final product, which, for now, will be a book about a single political event(fiction or nonfiction), viewed from multiple perspectives.
As for now, I have several “events” I’ve been looking into. Here they are:
- Israel/Palestine conflict – while this is an appealing topic, as there are two very distinct point of views, it will be difficult writing about this topic considering the extent of history involved in this conflict. More specifically, it will be difficult to fully understand the two point of views and to present them accurately through my book.
- Korea under Japanese rule – this is a topic that has strong personal affiliation to me, as I always struggled to understand the history of the relationship between the two nations that have resulted in the general discontent of the two nations toward each other today.
- The Crusades – for now, the least appealing topic – not only there are more than two distinct point of views, I think writing about religion as motive of operation overlaps too much with the topic religion itself, meaning that I would like to do something extensively political.
Considering how all of the three “events” are not truly events but rather a period of a long struggle and conflict between different point of views, I will need to make sure that the two point of views develop in the same time period, and therefore make it easier to directly compare their differences resulting from different points of views.