Artworks
Q: And Babies? A: And Babies
0
Be the first to vote…

More about Q: And Babies? A: And Babies

ebrowne's picture

Contributor

Q: And Babies? A: And Babies by Irving Petlin is a famous anti-Vietnam war poster and also one of the most disturbing wartime images ever created.

The original photograph used for the poster was taken by the U.S. combat photographer, Ronald L. Haeberle at the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. The quote “Q: And Babies? A: And Babies” comes from an interview of a participant in the massacre, U.S. soldier Paul Meadlo by CBS news anchor Mike Wallace. The transcript in its entirety describes how innocent men, women, and children were shoved into a ravine and shot. In the interview, Meadlo himself admitted to killing at least fifty of the three hundred and seventy that he estimates were killed that day. The real number was five hundred and eighty. The day after the massacre, Meadlo stepped on a landmine, which blew off part of his leg. He believes that this was a punishment for his actions the day before.

In 1969, the Art Workers Coalition or AWC decided to create a poster to protest the war in Vietnam and the Museum of Modern Art pledged to fund its distribution. But when the Board of Trustees, among them Nelson Rockefeller and the head of CBS at the time William S. Paley, saw the poster they went back on their promise. The picture of the piled dead bodies with the blood-red text made them squirm, so instead the New York City Lithographer’s Union took care of it and printed 50,000 copies of the poster. It was probably the most influential propaganda poster of all time, which makes sense because well, look at it. It’s the most horrifying picture ever. It brought the atrocities of war into people’s homes and made them deal with what was really happening overseas. The truth hurts.

Sources

Sources

  1. Frascina, Francis. Art, Politics And Dissent: Aspects Of The Art Left In Sixties America. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999. Web 9 Oct. 2018. https://books.google.com/books?id=QTq8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA175#v=onepage&q&f=false
  2. Holsinger, M. Paul. War And American Popular Culture. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999. Web. 9 Oct. 2018. https://books.google.com/books?id=Oe4AOVHkJ9oC&pg=PA363#v=onepage&q&f=false
  3. "Meadlo Wallace Interview Nov 24 1969." Internet Archive. N.p., 1969. Web. 9 Oct. 2018. https://archive.org/details/MeadloWallaceInterviewNov241969
  4. "Q: And Babies? A: And Babies." Brooklynmuseum.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 9 Oct. 2018. https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/208242

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about And babies

And babies (December 26, 1969) is an iconic anti-Vietnam War poster. It is a famous example of "propaganda art" from the Vietnam War that uses the now infamous color photograph of the My Lai Massacre taken by U.S. combat photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on March 16, 1968. It shows about a dozen dead and partly naked South Vietnamese women and babies in contorted positions stacked together on a dirt road, killed by U.S. forces. The picture is overlaid in semi-transparent blood-red lettering that asks along the top "Q. And babies?", and at the bottom answers "A. And babies." The quote is from a Mike Wallace CBS News television interview with U.S. soldier Paul Meadlo, who participated in the massacre. The lettering was sourced from The New York Times, which printed a transcript of the Meadlo interview the day after.

According to cultural historian M. Paul Holsinger, And babies was "easily the most successful poster to vent the outrage that so many felt about the conflict in Southeast Asia."

Check out the full Wikipedia article about And babies.