Chief Gun of Visual Propaganda, Interviewed by Chief Cheem for Black Hammer Times
Land back everyone,
My name is Chief Cheem. I represent the Zapotec people of Mexico and use he/him pronouns. I serve as the Editor in Chief for the baddest anti-colonial news outlet in the world and today we are talking with Black Hammer’s Visual Propaganda department.
Could you introduce yourselves and give us (the people) a basic summary on what Visual Propaganda is and what the department as a whole is tasked with?
Chief Gun: I’m Chief Gun of Visual Propaganda, use she/they pronouns and represent Korea. Visual Propaganda is where visions come to reality; visions about agitating the masses, becoming more eco-friendly and sustainable with our lifestyles away from the colony, opening up a space for those who’ve never had a voice such as creating panel discussion events. We do all sorts of different work but the core of it all is that we bring vision into reality, something that we can see and engage with. That’s what we do.
Falling under the wider office of Agitation, could you explain the need for Visual Propaganda to Agitate the Masses and some of the ways the committee brings this to life through your work?
We are tasked with a rather difficult task of agitating the masses without being adventuristic, but given these limitations, we have to come up with creative ways to agitate the masses in other ways.
That could be a touching graphic, for example, our most recent defense posters. Emphasizing unity among family, among the Colonized masses to protect ourselves. Or also creating merch that shows the world who we are through visual design.
A lot of our designs are still very provocative but some of our stuff gets stared at. I’ve definitely been stared at wearing BHO’s stuff. But there’s a lot of things that we do to agitate the masses; humans see and we get agitated. Visual Propaganda has an incredibly important job collaborating with the rest of the departments under the office of Agitation.
Many people are familiar with united snakkkes propaganda and associate the word “propaganda” negatively. Can you explain what exactly is propaganda and how it affects our day to day lives, especially the lives of Colonized working-class people?
Google says propaganda is information especially of a biased nature used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view, which is applicable to all news sources or information that we get. Whether that’s newspapers or articles online; they’re all propaganda if you really think of it.
Black Hammer always says we have a bias towards Colonized liberation. So yes, we are doing this propaganda, but people just have to come around to the idea that propaganda has been negatively used to make people think that whatever the colonial news sources provide is actual fact and whatever is not within that is “propaganda.”
People just have to do their research and learn these terms correctly, and understand that all the information we receive through the media is propaganda. We are biased for anticolonial liberation, we only want the truth, the rawest truth for our Colonized people.
We often look to our ancestors for wisdom and to learn from their experiences. How has Visual Propaganda been used in the past to forward revolution?
In general, what revolutionary artists have been doing is providing a medium through which people can relate to on a personal level. Visual art, historically, has been an access to information for those that cannot read, who are illiterate.
A lot of comrades have joined the revolution throughout different histories, different cultures, because of revolutionary artists that persuaded them through visual guidance. That is one big thing I think about and to apply that to Visual Propaganda now, we are doing a similar thing except not focusing on whether or not our audience is illiterate or literate.
The colony has brainwashed us into being illiterate to the truth of the state of the world. You’ll read a news article and not see beyond that, what’s laid out to see a colonial truth, or the need for unity. Visual Propaganda helps people reach that point by pushing the emotional agitation side.
Art is emotional whether that’s poetry, music, or visuals. Visual Propaganda specifically keeps in mind how we can visually agitate the audience and bring them to the revolution. So that is what we take away from revolutionary ancestors that made art for the revolution. Land back.
There has been lots of anti-China propaganda from amerikkka as the dying empire struggles to keep up with its decline. Tell us some of the ways Visual Propaganda is combatting this Sinophobic narrative.
We are, first of all, supporting panel discussions and relevant articles that are being put out by promoting them visually. I also think we’re putting out a lot of work regarding supporting China—and I hate this word, but to normalize China.
People have to visually see to break out of the propaganda mindset that it’s actually okay to have a different opinion and be curious about the truth. We’re putting out visual works that normalize that discussion and putting out merchandise to support the cause as well. In general we are trying to put out as many visual reminders to the masses if we can—if you’re curious, you can tap into the truth.
Bringing up the topic over and over again, making people curious, making them think, “Hm what is really up with China and this western propaganda? Something doesn’t click.” I think that’s what VP is doing.
What is it that inspires you to continue doing the work for the masses through your art, and how can other revolutionary visual propagandists tap into Black Hammer’s VP Committee and use their talents to create propaganda for the liberation of all Colonized people?
First of all, anyone who has passion for art or passion for creating visual propaganda for the masses can and should join Visual Propaganda because we do mentor-ship programs, training sessions, to really build each other as comrades and make sure that we are revolutionary artists that reach our truest potentials.
On that note, what keeps me going? It is truly the comrades under my leadership that lead me and constantly show me the revolutionary brilliance through art, creativity and their artistic passion. I have never had an experience before where I was leading this amazing team that constantly inspires each other and uplifts each other, upholding my leadership in a way that I can realize all these potentials.
I get all my sad inspiration from all these colonial tragedies happening in the world; there are so many things I could create to spread awareness and help the cause which I am doing through Black Hammer, thankfully. I also get my revolutionary energy and inspiration from my comrades, the rest of the Hammers in the organization for sure. Land back.
Lastly, what are some of the projects VP is currently working on? The people have been hearing talks of an upcoming Black Hammer fashion show and need to know more! Can you elaborate on this iconic project and tell the Masses how they can join in on this showing of Colonized beauty and excellence?
Land back! So the Fashion Show is a really big one that is coming up. We got our models down and are figuring out which merch will go out to who. It’s a brilliant collaboration with MAD (Music and Dance Committee). We are looking to provide what Visual Propaganda designers have put out in the BHO Bazaar—which everyone should check out—but you can join the show which will be on Facebook live!
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