1959 'The commune's canteen is powerful, the dishes are deliciously made. You eat like you wish, production ambitions are rising'
After the successful economic reconstruction of the early 1950s, the Party leadership headed by Mao Zedong considers the conditions ripe for a Great Leap Forward in early 1958. The Chinese people are to go all out in an effort to surpass England in 15 (or even fewer) years and to make the transition from socialism to communism at the same time. The production of steel is considered of the highest importance. All over the country, small furnaces are built. In the countryside, huge people's communes are formed. Life there is completely collectivized, including mess halls serving free food. By early 1959, it becomes clear that the campaign is a failure and that a catastrophe is at hand. In the famine of following years, thirty to forty million people die.
Meals in the canteens of the people's communes are free, but compulsory. People don't eat with their families anymore, but with the collective.
Designer: Zhao Wenfa (赵文发)
The commune's canteen is powerful, the dishes are deliciously made. You eat like you wish, production ambitions are rising
Gongshe shitang qiang fancai zuode xiang chizhao xin ruyi shengchan zhiqi yang (公社食堂强饭菜做得香吃着心如意生产志气扬)
Publisher: Hebei renmin meishu chubanshe (河北人民美术出版社)
Size: 77x54 cm.
Call number: BG E16/204 (IISH collection)