Baladia Future City

2011 – 2015

41 photos on paper and model (2011), video, 46’40 ” (2015)

As in all real cities, we have constructed mosques, a kasbah and even a refugee camp” Arick Moré, lieutenant colonel of the Israel Defense Forces

A project about Baladia City National Urban Training Center. Also known as the nickname “Chicago”, Baladia is a center for military training located near the military base of Tze’elim, in the Negev desert in the south of Israel. The center is used by the Israel Defense Forces to plan wars in urban areas of Gaza, Cisjordan, Lebanon and Syria. The installations, that were funded to a large extent by military help from the USA, compose a model of a city of 7,4 sq km. They consist of 1.100 basic modules that can be reconfigured by the planners of military missions, in order to represent specific Arab cities.

The installation Baladia Ciutat Futura, is a display and documentary archive that piles up images, most of them produced by soldiers of the IDF and found on the Internet, You Tube and Facebook, and a model of the city recreated from photographs of Google Earth.

In 2015, it’s joined the project a recorded video in Tel Aviv, in which three soldiers of the Israeli army in reserve explain their experience in Baladia City.

The project aims at exploring the paradoxes between architectural trends developed in Israel since the 70s as an attempt to provide the architecture with “local identity” –by appropriating the Palestinian imaginary– and the “international style” developed during the first decades of the new state, and their most dystopian deviation: the simulated city of Baladia City.


Curator: Maral Mikirditsian

Model maker: Oriol Poch

Acknowledgements: Achiya Schatz, Avner Gvaryahu, Shay Davidovich, Breaking the Silence, Miki Kratsman, Nirith Nelson, Martí Peran.

*The piece belongs to the MACBA Collection.