Propaganda vs. Social Commentary in Art During World War I

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The Twentieth Century presented society with a long list of incomprehensible situations and events, beginning with World War I. Acting as a buffer between the horrors of reality and individual’s perceptions of the world, art helps to inform, explain and educate society, but it can also be used to change people’s perceptions. In August 1914, a targeted and systematic manipulation of opinion by the media, intellectuals and authorities started through the use of propaganda – systematically deployed, both qualitatively and quantitatively, as a political instrument for the first time, “through which authority was legitimated by usage, precedent, and custom.”