These slogans – calls to defend and immigrate to Israel, lauding May 1 as a holiday, sounding the alarm against corrupt leaders – don’t derive from the recent social justice activism or the universal military enlistment movement or even a political campaign.
They are, rather, strident Zionist catchphrases printed on trailblazing, iconic graphic arts posters from British Mandate Palestine and the nascent State of Israel. And collected in a strikingly presented new exhibit, they take viewers back to an era when such posters were critical to communication among, and the energizing of, the pioneering generations here.
Zionism 2000 Collection, 1920-1960, a stunning new show at Shenkar Design Archive & Research Center in Ramat Gan, shuttles us back to an era when working the land was a matter of life and death, and when the Jewish people turned hopelessness into strength.
One of the posters reads We did this! and points to a new community that sprung to life in the desert. Another depicts ships breaking through barbed-wire — a metaphor for the concentration camps — and sailing, boldly, to Palestine. Some show ads for Jaffa oranges and Elite coffee, while others promote travels deals to sun-kissed Palestine.
Cuator's note: This article depicts a poster done by Otte Wallish in 1936 and may be viewed here