The obedient dogs of Party culture

In May 2012, People’s Daily Online, the online version of the Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper, reported that “100 poets, artists and calligraphers” from all over the country assembled in Hubei province to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s Yan’an speeches on arts and literature, which essentially set the stage for the arts as political tools of the Chinese Communist Party after it came to power in 1949. In this cartoon by artist Kuang Biao (邝彪), drawn for the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Yan’an speeches and shared on Sina Weibo and elsewhere on the internet, a stern-faced Party official in a black trench coat walks the mangy dog of Party-run culture. The dog’s head is a hand brandishing a pen.

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