Poster themes in Bloemfontein during the 2004 general election campaign
De Wet, Johann C.
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This article essentially focuses on the political poster as a medium for political communication and as a propaganda medium during an election campaign. An introductory discussion is followed by an analysis of the thematic content of party political posters which appeared in the city of Bloemfontein during the period 9 February 2004 to 14 April 2004 - the official campaign period for South Africa's third democratic general election. The analysis focuses particularly on the posters constructed by the four parties which gained seats in the Free State Legislature, namely the African National Congress (ANC with 25 seats), the Democratic Alliance (DA with 3 seats), the Freedom Front Plus (FF+ with 1 seat) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP with 1 seat). A total of thirteen parties contested the Free Siate Provincial election. The poster themes of two parties, the New National Party (NNP) and National Action (NA), which were exceptionally visible in the poster war in Bloemfontein during the election campaign and which gained no representation in the Free State Legislature, are included in the discussion. The interpretation of poster messages is linked to the specific context in which they appeared. Meanings can only be ascribed within a given context or, in this case, socio-political and economic circumstance.