Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

x

 
Paperfolding as Political Propaganda
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of Paperfolding as Political Propaganda. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

Paperfolding has been used as political propaganda in several ways:

By the use of images of well known paperfolds in satirical cartoons, specifically the Cocotte / Pajarita and the Newspaper Hat . Many examples of this can be found in the pages devoted to these paperfolds.

In the use of Newspaper Hats as election campaign promotional items. An example of this dating from 1896 can be found here.

By the production of novelty paperfolds which convey a propaganda message.

**********

Novelty paperfolds which convey a propaganda message

There are several interesting (and unfolding) pamphlets dating from between 1780 and 1787, the years of the Pattriottentijd rebellion in the Netherlands, held in the Collectie Nederland and the Dutch Nationaal Archief, which were produced as propaganda for the Patriotic cause.

**********

This French fold-in, which dates to around 1814, is propaganda on behalf of Louis XVIII of France. (Information from Juan Gimeno)

**********

This German fold-in from 1814 headed 'We Will Be Victorious' shows the leaders of France, England, Belgium, Japan, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro and collapses to portraits of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austro-Hungary and William 2 of Germany.

**********

The most famous type of fold-in propaganda is The Fifth Pig, the earliest known example of which dates from the time of the First World War.

**********

The images below are of both sides of a puzzle postcard, produced as propaganda but also advertising a hotel, dating from the Second World War. The object of the puzzle is to imprison two of the three 'Public Enemies' pictured on the puzzle by folding it into a square.

**********

In issue 86, published in 1964, Mad magazine featured an innovative inside back cover illustration by Al Jaffee which was designed so that the picture folded inwards in a zigzag fashion to reveal another picture, with a satirical connection between the two. These 'Fold-ins' became a regular feature of the magazine. Some of these fold-ins, such as the one shown below, which is from April 1965, were overtly political in nature.

**********