|M.Sc Student||Goldshmidt-Filman Keren|
|Subject||The New Town - Act and Propaganda|
New Towns in Israel, The Architectual Discourse
and The Propaganda Films, 1948-1967
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Aravot Iris|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
A unique characteristic of the development of the state of Israel is the founding of 36 new towns within a period of two decades. This project, which arose from the need for housing of the mass immigration at the time, also served as an instrument for population-dispersal throughout the country, security promotion and strengthening of the young and needy economy. Moreover, from our perspective, it was also a powerful means of shaping a new identity for the immigrants within the melting pot of modern Israel. Architectural planning activity was recruited to create the environment for the New Israelis, an aim that the profession adopted in its discourse and action.
At the time, newsreels served the government as an instrument of propaganda. They documented events in the life of the young state, including the process of building the towns and shaping the identities of both individuals and the new society. The research reviews, analyzes, and compares the architectural discourse and propaganda films concerning the new towns. The question thus arising: if and how were the propaganda films used by the government to promote the idea of founding the new towns?
While planners tried to imbue society with a new identity in the spirit of the modernism of technical, functional and white washed structures, the films inadvertently reveal the sterility, monotony, and sense of stagnation and loneliness that prevail in these towns, as well as showing their inconsistency with the patriotic text.
Central issues discussed by the planners, such as the relationship with older cities and social problems, are totally absent from the films. Those who commissioned these films did not want to show this gloomy aspect of reality and simply excluded it, sometimes despite the directors’ protests.
Finally, the lens of the camera reveals hidden sights. These are not documented in the architectural discourse, and the pictures bring us one step closer to understanding the reality of that period. Surprisingly, in many instances the films revealed and intentionally emphasized unpleasant views, such as dwellings in the midst of wilderness or discussion of the daily difficulties of the immigrants and their struggle for existence in the new country, new city.