Katerina Chatzikonstantinou (University of Thessaly) and David Martín (López University of Granada)
Totalitarianism, Urbanism of “Knowledge", Politics of Space
Dictatorships and totalitarianisms, whatever their political orientation, exercise as authoritarian regimes -without doubt- control on the spaces dedicated to “Knowledge”. Culture and education,whether on the juveline, school or university level,areperceived as power. For that reason, the approach to this is controlled, measured, programmed and ideologically systematized by the political system through educational policies, architecture and art, aesthetics and symbolism of their political ideology. Nevertheless, and at the same time, a good part of the European, African, Asian and American dictatorships have opted to provide new urban infrastructures for the future “Knowledge” of their nations (Schools, Museums, Libraries, High Schools, Academies, Universities). This thematic session wishes to highlight the complexity and plurality of the architectural and urbanistic discourse and application concerning education and culture and to do so within a comparative perspective between the different forms of political regimes, dictatorships and totalitarianisms.
We welcome papers that:
- Work on aspects of the urban and architectural space associated with the dissemination of knowledge in totalitarian regimes such aslibraries, schools, universities, etc.
- Address the political importance of the urban framing of public spaces of knowledge or culture.
- Review urban planning and museums in dictatorships.
- Establish differences and analogies between democratic and totalitarian urbanism associated to Culture and Knowledge during the same period.
Public Space and National Identity during the Franco Regime: the Myth of Hispanicism and its Effect on the City
María Isabel Cabrera García (Universidad de Granada, Departamento Historia del Arte)
Urbanism, Franco Regime, National Identity
Like other totalitarian movements of the twentieth century, Franco also granted a fundamental role to the design and exhibition of an artistic image of power, displaying similar arguments to those used in Italy or Germany, but using singular elements of diverse nature. In that sense, the coinage of a historical-anthropological myth of great value in that context was fundamental, that of "Hispanicism", closely linked to the ideas of empire, crusade and catholicity, very much in line with that common tendency between these regimes Totalitarian to widen its borders.
In our study we will approach the use of the myth of "Hispanicism" by the dictatorial regime and how it is projected in urban space.
Terezin: The Culture in the Ghetto. From the Nazi Urban Ideology to the Current Musealization of the Pain Space
Miguel Ángel Espinosa Villegas (University of Granada, Department of History of Art)
Urbanism, Nazism, Jewish Culture
Terezin was the showcase of Nazism in the face of international public opinion that tried to hide the reality of the Holocaust, disguising the barbarism with urban rationalism and culture. This creates an unreal image to show to the world, about a pre-existing space, although readjusted according to the Nazi ideology about urban perfection and life as a whole. The expression of culture was an essential part of that idea of a perfect city: theater, music, sport ... Each aspect had its own assigned space. However, two opposing environments coexist in Terezin: the project of radical fictional totalitarianism and the reality born of the limited freedom granted to the Jewish community confined there and to which everything related to their cultural life is allowed to be programmed. Terezin is thus an example of an autonomous cultural organization over a given small space and subject to the tight control of a totalitarian concept of illusory perfection. We will analyze those modes of control and order programmed and ideologically systematized that the Nazi political system applies in this ghetto and that the Jewish community itself assumes as its own and part of a destiny contrary to its nature. Although we will use art and its most diverse manifestations as the main field of study, it is essential to analyze the mode of spatial planning and distribution of all other functions in this city idea. This facade city translates the complex framework of infrastructures determined by Nazism for this subdued culture: school, library, museum, conservatory, gym, parks ... and of course, the street and its use, as a natural extension of any institution.
Finally, we will also study how this network of spatial relations and the idea of culture that they have sustained have been preserved and are nowadays offered to the world as a museum. We will study whether the image it currently offers conveniently translates the original ideology or if, on the contrary, the filter of historical criticism has modified that past reality, submitting to the cultural policy prevailing in the current European framework.
Educating a fascist New Man and the Role of Social Space plays in Indoctrination: Example of a Fascist Mining Colony of Raša in Istria
Črtomir Lorber (University of Ljubljana)
Fascist Colonisation of Istria, Formal Spatial Analysis, Raša
Space is not only a biological component of our lives it is also a tool of social control and an incarnation of social power relations. Like language constructed space is a tool that controls our thought processes and establishes a social hierarchy. It may do so through different avenues. One is to restrict access to certain areas of a wider environment. Be in castles, palaces or in modern totalitarian colonies, spatial design enforces a certain mode of operation. This fact is most clearly visible in the work of French intellectuals Henri Lefebvre and Pierre Bourdieu who noted, that human condition is defined by invisible rules governing their interactions and spatial relations. These interactions and rules, like the use of language, are in sense deterministic. Considering this fact we propose to analyse the fascist colonization of Istria as a determined attempt to reform the general perception of social space, cultural systems and cultural values. On an example of the mining colony of Raša/Arsa and its’ regional contemporaries we intend to discuss three key issues. The first is the differences a modern fascist urbanistic intervention brings to the regional urbanism, the second is the iconographic language used by the fascist regime to “educate” the people it wanted to rule, and the third to show how the colony’s design was focused in enforcing a new societal order. We find the third as the most important, since it can be approached through the methodology of formal access analysis, often times used in interpreting castles, palaces and other public places in anthropology and archaeology, when attempting to discern how a structure or a spatial context defines the movement of people and their social life. We believe that by comparing the traditional regional settlement layouts with the fascist colonial settlements through this method and supplementing it with the iconographic analysis we can discern which aspects of the society the fascist wanted to change, reform and to emphasize and also show what internal contradictions their vison of the world of the future had.