During a recent trip to Munich, I was reflecting on my conflicting feelings about art that was commissioned by the Nazis for use as propaganda. If I'm honest, before I knew the context behind these pieces, I felt that the art was compelling and dynamic. But after learning about the context, I was nauseated by these pieces and their message of racial superiority.
This cognitive dissonance has pushed me to confront the role of my biases and how context can change how I experience art. If someone had selectively disclosed information about these pieces, I would have easily come to an opposite conclusion based on which parts of these pieces' backgrounds had been shared with me.
I feel unsettled by how much propaganda can control what I feel and I'm scared that I don't know how to consistently fight it.