The Front Says,
You may not see it, but there is hope.
The Back Says,
“Stay strong and free
In your mind and heart.
More Help Is Coming.
-United Counsel for the Freedom of North Koreans”
(Translations Provided by Google Translate
Propaganda is such a delicate thing to combat. The wrong images can take away from the meaning if the message. You could come across and demeaning or offensive with the wrong imagery. The sender of the anti-propaganda has to be of an origin that the target audience was not driven to hate. In this case, the North Koreans are taught to hate United States, and Americans. Avoid using this information in your fight. It may create opposition to a message that is truthful and supposed to help your audience. We may not be able to change the way these people have out right been programmed by a simple flyer. They may have never seen someone that is not North Korean.
The message of hope is soft and refreshing. It is non-invasive. By just saying “there is hope,” you do not have the impact. It seems insincere and like you don’t understand how hard it can be for these people. With just adding “you may not see it” tells your audience that you acknowledge their hardship and know it is not easy to see the hope.
“Stay strong and free” is a message that tells them that they are not prisoners and they can have a free mind and heart. Just being free in your mind will help you to stay positive. Finally, the message of more help coming is vague and could mean another balloon delivery or even freedom from their oppression.
I selected the gate on the front to represent the “locked down” state of their society. This is reflective of their oppression and controlled life. On the back there is a bird that is flying. The bird is soaring high. It is not limited bound by a fence. This sends a message of freedom and a life of no restrictions,
This flyer is easily concealable and can be hidden from officials, or it can be burned to eliminate evidence of a message that the propagandists would not want their people to see. The message of hope and a free mind goes along way in raising people attitude and thought processes.
If people are caught with a simple message like this could be subject to jail or other punishments. Anti-government activity is dealt with severely and the last thing you want to do is cause someone harm by letting them know that there is hope.
Images from personal collection.
I liked the fact that you used images from your personal collection. The way you described your use of the images combined with your wording provided a great explanation as to why you selected these particular things. It made me want to revisit my own project and alter the images/messages that I used in order to make a bigger impact on those that would receive the message in North Korea. You were correct when you stated that propaganda is such a delicate thing to combat, and I believe you took the correct precautions to prevent these people from being offended.
The messages that you included were precise, but I believe that you could add more to the front part of the flyer. It would make it even better if you were to add a call to action into the flyer. When you stated, “You may not see it, but there is hope” it would be a positive perspective to provide the North Koreans with what they can do. It would be good for them to see what they can do now to help themselves even though you have stated on the back that more help is on the way.
Have you considered making the flyer more eye catching? The color scheme along with the photos that you used is not cohesive. Though you have made the fonts bright the photos are dark. This maybe could be remedied by using different filters to make the photos stand out and match. You might want to reconsider adding a message that tells what the dollar can be used for. Just as you said they may have never seen someone that is not North Korean they have probably never seen currency that is not their own. I thought about this after submitting my own project and I believe that this would be an important point to highlight.
Perhaps you can expand your project by making your flyer more relatable to the people of North Korea. Many want to rebel against their strict leaders, but they do not know how or they live in fear of doing this. You can make it more relatable with your use of the images or words. Inform them about what there is to have hope for because many of them do feel hopeless. Maybe you could try to focus more on telling them what help is coming or how they can make progress as a society.
Overall, I feel like you did an awesome job in creating the original flyers along with a great message. It was great reviewing your work, Joseph.