Josefina González Cubero (University of Valladolid);
Alba Zarza Arribas (University of Valladolid)
The Built Memory:
the Colonization Villages in Spain by the Newsreel of State NO-DO
The newsreel of State used to show to Spanish society a determined image of architecture, conditioned by the political needs of Franco’s Regime. In this case, the subject of the cinematographic image of villages of colonization of the Tagus valley as presented by the NO-DO newsreel (Noticiarios y Documentales Cinematográficos) is studied. NO-DO was originally created as a propaganda tool and an instrument for the diffusion of “specially relevant” news from that time period. The analysis of the architecture built by the National Institute of Colonization (INC) and showed in different editions of the newsreel allowed us to understand the ideological approach made by the Regime to the Spanish countryside, through the model of colonization of the territory, and how building was used as propaganda. The urban model proposed was defined by civic centres –usually square-shaped-, and church towers as urban milestones set in the landscape. For this reason, politic demonstrations in the representative public spaces of villages, through the delivering of houses and rural property to settlers, incorporated the context and living conditions in which new villages were built. At the same time, the visits to irrigation farms, new irrigation canals, and hydraulic and hydroelectric infrastructures exemplify the agrarian and irrigation policies during the autarchy, whereas in the next decades, and because of the economic and social development of the countryside, news about reservoirs were just referred to sports and leisure activities. Therefore, these cinematographic images of buildings, irrigation policies and the modernization of rural landscape presented in cinemas through the NO-DO newsreel are relevant, since they build a collective memory of the architecture and engineering of that time. They also document the social, politic and economic role that the creation of Spanish villages of colonization at river basins had, specifically in one of the biggest rivers, the Tagus.
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