General Information about Chinese Society

Setting up a new home in a mountain village

Setting up a new home in a mountain village

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General Information about Chinese Society

Complete and Consolidate the Victory, New China Library Series No. 1; 8 articles from early 1950 about developments in China as well as on international affairs. (Peking: FLP, May 1950), 59 pages.

China’s Feet Unbound, by Wilfred G. Burchette, (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1952), 196 pages. About the rapid changes in China during the first couple years of the People’s Republic.

China’s New Creative Age, by Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury, (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1953), 208 pages.

A Great Decade, by Chou En-lai, 1959. Summing up the achievements of the country in the decade since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. (Peking: FLP, 1959), 45 pages.

Letters From China: Numbers 11-20, by Anna Louise Strong, (Peking: New World Press, 1964), 186 pages. (Missing interior title page; otherwise complete.)

In Celebration of 21st Anniversary of Founding of the People’s Republic of China, Hsinhua News Agency press report, Sept. 30, 1970, 36 double pages with print in teletype font.

Geography of China, English language edition, (Peking: FLP, 1972), 68 pages.

China – A Geographical Sketch, a revised and enlarged version of the above pamphlet, (Peking: FLP, 1974), 144 pages.

Some Basic Facts About China: Ten Questions and Answers, Supplement to China Reconstructs magazine, Jan. 1974, 95 pages. Includes sections on People’s Communes, Neighbourhood Life, the General Line for Socialist Construction, National Economic Development, the Policy of ‘Walking on Two Legs’, Women, Minorities, Education and Health.

More Basic Facts About China, Supplement to China Reconstructs magazine, Jan. 1976, 105 pages. Includes sections on Socialist Economic Construction, How the Oil Industry was Developed, Tachai Commune and the Socialist Countryside, Education, Factories Run their own Colleges, Barefoot Doctors, Cadre Schools, etc.

New China’s First Quarter Century, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 228 pages.

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Government of the People’s Republic of China

The Constitution of the People's Republic of China

The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China – 1975

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Government of the People’s Republic of China

Important Documents of the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, (Peking: FLP, 1949), 54 pages.

The Common Program and Other Documents of the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, (Peking: FLP, 1950), 53 pages.

Political Report, by Chou En-lai, delivered at the Second Session of the Second National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on January 30, 1956. (Peking: FLP, 1956), 51 pages.

Ten Glorious Years – 1949-1959, essays by 19 important Chinese leaders (other than Mao) on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, including: Liu Shao-chi, Chou En-lai, Lin Piao, Teng Hsiao-ping, Soong Ching Ling, Chen Yi, Li Fu-chun, Ho Lung, Li Hsien-nien, Ko Ching-shih, Li Ching-chuan, Ulanfu, Kang Sheng, Po I-po, Wang Chia-hsing, Liu Lan-tao, Teng Tse-hui, Nieh Jung-chen, and Lo Jui-ching. (Peking: FLP, 1960), 384 pages.

Documents of the First Session of the Fourth National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 104 pages. Including;

  • Proclamation of the National People’s Congress of the PRC
  • The Constitution of the PRC
  • Report on the Revision of the Constitution, by Chang Chun-chiao
  • Report on the Work of the Government, by Chou En-lai
  • Resolutions and Proclamations
  • List of the members of the Presidium and the Secretary General of the 1st Session of the 4th National People’s Congress
  • Press Communique

The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, as of 1975, (Peking: FLP, 1975), 72 pages, including the Report on the Revision of the Constitution, by Chang Chun-chiao.

The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, as of 1978, (Peking: FLP, 1978), 52 pages.

The Constitutions of the People’s Republic of China, including the Constitutions of 1954, 1975, 1978, and 1982, in both English and Chinese, 76 pages.

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Chinese Revolutionary Art – 1975

Chairman Mao Tse-tung

Chairman Mao Tse-tung

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Chinese Revolutionary Art – 1975

So far the emphasis on this blog has been on those examples of Socialist Realist art that I have encountered on various visits to Albania in the past few years – especially the ‘lapidars’ (public monuments and sculptures). One of the drivers for starting this project was the fear that due to both active political vandalism and simple lack of care many of these unique works of socialist art were likely to disappear in the near future and would be lost to posterity.

The Albanian Lapidar Survey of 2014 meant that, at least, those monuments that still existed and were identified at the time would be recorded in as much detail as possible, including a comprehensive photographic record of their condition in 2014. The fate of those lapidars has varied in the intervening years, some suffering further decay others suffering inappropriate (if at times well meaning) and destructive ‘renovation’.

With many of the lapidars I have visited I have attempted to carry out a deep reading of what they represent and have tried to put them in their historical context. I don’t even try to maintain that I have always got it right but in lieu of any other such record (much information about the more than 650 lapidars covered in the ALS investigation – and many other works of art, such as bas reliefs, mosaics, etc. – having been destroyed or lost in the chaotic years of the 1990s) I hope my efforts can help in reconstructing a comprehensive data base for the future. Although many have already been written about on this blog there are still many to follow.

Travelling quite extensively around the country I have encountered artistic elements of the socialist past that were outside the remit of the ALS. That includes the likes of the mosaics (Bestrove, Tirana Historical Museum and on the Bashkia in Ura Vajgurore – to name a few) and bas reliefs (for example, the Durres Tobacco Factory and Radio Kukesi) already mention as well as paintings (in the National Art Gallery in Tirana), statues (including the ‘Sculpture Park‘ behind the National Art Gallery and the 68 Girls of Fier), stand alone structures (such as the Party Emblem in Peshkopia) and murals (such as the Traditional Wedding Mural in the hotel restaurant also in Peshkopia), exhibits in museums and a number of other works that have (sometimes) miraculously survived the 30 years following the success of the counter-revolution.

By the time the Party of Labour of Albania had achieved victory over the fascist invaders in November 1944 the idea of Socialist Realist Art as something Socialist countries should encourage had become entrenched in the thinking of revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. I presented my interpretation of this when discussing art in Albania but the same arguments would suit the use of art in the other major Socialist countries, especially the Soviet Union and China.

I intend to look at Soviet Socialist Realist Art, initially, by reading the stories being told in the Metro stations, principally of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) and Moscow.

When it comes to the People’s Republic of China there are already examples of the use of art in the struggle to establish Socialism in the pages of Chinese Literature. Various issues of that magazine are available from 1953 to 1981 (the final 5 years an example of how literature and art can be used to turn back Socialism in a similar way it was used to promote Socialism from 1949 till just after the death of Chairman Mao in 1976).

The Chinese approach to literature and art can also be gleaned from the works of the writer and cultural theorist Lu Hsun.

Here I present a slide show of a collection of posters from the last, full revolutionary year of the People’s Republic of China (1975) to give an idea of how Chinese poster art had developed to that date.

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