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Ofer Ashkenazi, ‘Toward a Critical Zionist Vision: German-Jewish Photographers and Filmmakers in 1930s Palestine’
November 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Following the emergence of National Socialism, several German-Jewish photographers and filmmakers went into exile. A small number of them arrived in Mandate Palestine and greatly influenced the Zionist visual culture of the following decades. This talk focuses on two veterans of Germany’s film industry, who participated in Zionist propaganda campaigns in the mid-1930s and created imagery that was repeatedly copied and referenced by other Zionist artists. In their work they integrated Labor Zionism with a critical, anti-nationalist discourse of the Weimar era. While they identified with, and propagated, some aspects of the Zionist vision, they visualized the local landscape in a way that criticized and protested particular aspects of Jewish nationalism.
Ofer Ashkenazi teaches modern European history and is the director of the Koebner-Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His publications include the monographs A Walk into the Night: Reason and Subjectivity in Weimar Film (2010); Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity (2012); and Anti-Heimat Cinema: The Jewish Invention of the German Landscape (forthcoming).