• Public Shaming

Public Shaming

by added on 8 July 2015, Comments Off on Public Shaming , filed under Artistic Process (Israel)

July 8th, 2015.  I am given a private tour of the Sammy Ofer School for Communications at IDC, Herzliya (funded in part by the Asper family from Canada), and the Museum of Communications. Exhibited between classrooms and throughout the public spaces within each of the departments (radio, television, new media, and so on), are galleries of historic media, such as, posters and photographs, Israel’s first printing press, a unique collection of ‘cathedral’ and ‘temple’ radios, the first TV, and early cameras for film and television.

I stop to take in the new media classroom, recognizing the space from a YNet feature on Israel’s propaganda war-room that was published online during the July 2014 Gaza War. My guide explains that the gallery-like layout of the school was designed to strategically inspire studies. As I gaze at the sea of computers, I am reminded of the Asper family’s contributions and the subsequent flow of information through media to Canadians about Israel.  Incorporating historic objects into a work space, which convey national pride and historic achievement, not only inspires studies but is also a subtle, yet brilliant, psychological strategy to inspire and produce effective and polished propaganda.  

Prior to setting out on the tour, I engage in conversation with someone regarding a YouTube video they had been watching before I arrived. The video is on the topic of public shaming. I am told it’s a phenomena that recently exploded in Israeli society and accounts for numerous suicides. The issue is as pervasive and problematic amongst students as it is off campus between adults.  This person cited the example of Bracha, the police investigator who recently committed suicide. Upon convicting a rabbi on bribery charges, Bracha was publicly shamed by being bullied and harassed through social and mainstream media. It got so bad that he killed himself. 


Image: Bernard Reder, Two Fighting Women, Havana 1942 |  From the sculpture garden at Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel