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Panda NationThe Construction and Conservation of China's Modern Icon$
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E. Elena Songster

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199393671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199393671.001.0001

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Pandas Are Red

Pandas Are Red

The Cultural Revolutionary Rise of the Panda as Brand and Symbol

(p.72) 4 Pandas Are Red
Panda Nation

E. Elena Songster

Oxford University Press

Many advances gained in nature protection efforts during the early 1960s were brought to a screeching halt with the onset of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The Wanglang Nature Reserve, however, hosted representatives from China’s top scientific institutes on the first species-specific giant panda survey in 1967. This event brings to light a narrative parallel to the well-known “decade of chaos”. During this era the government endorsed many scientific endeavors designed to highlight the glory of China’s nature and advertise its scientific prowess. In addition to being a scientific subject, the giant panda also became a popular expression of nationalism during this era. The giant panda was repeatedly reproduced as a politically safe image and demonstrated surprising durability against the ever-changing political winds of this decade.

Keywords:   Cultural Revolution, Nationalism, Art, Panda survey, Wanglang, Product brand

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