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Memories and Silences Haunted by Fascism

Italian Colonialism MCMXXX-MCMLX

Daniela Baratieri

Fascist and colonial legacies have been determinant in shaping how Italian colonialism has been narrated in Italy till the late 1960s. This book deals with the complex problem of public memory and discursive amnesia.
The detailed research that underpins this book makes it no longer possible to claim that after 1945 there was an absolute and traumatic silence concerning Italy’s colonial occupation of North and East Africa. However, the abiding public use of this history confirms the existence of an extremely selective and codified memory of that past.
The author shows that colonial discourse persisted in historiography, newspapers, newsreels and film. Popular culture appears intertwined with political and economic interests and the power inscribed in elite and scientific knowledge. While readdressing the often mistaken historical time line that ignores that actual Italian colonial ties did not end with the fall of Fascism, but in 1960 with Somalia becoming independent, this book suggests that a new post Fascist Italian identity was the crucial issue in reappraisals of a national colonial past.

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Archives and Databases Films Cineteca Nazionale di Roma. Chiarini Library at C.S.C., Roma. Cineteca di Bologna. Cineteca di Torino. Mediateca Toscana, Firenze. Videoteca comunale di Trento. Gianfranco Casadio’s personal collection. Internet Movie Database: www.imdb.com Cinematografo: www.cinematografo.it Censorship documents Archivi dell’ufficio di Censura, Roma. Posters Servizi Ausiliari Cinema, S.A.C., Roma. Newsreels Archive of the LUCE Institute, Roma. digital archive since 2000: www.archivioluce.it Press In the course of the research I contributed, in collaboration with Giuseppe Finaldi, to the creation of a digital database of photographs regarding Africa published in Il Borghese, Epoca, L’Europeo, Il Mondo, La Domenica del Corriere and L’Espresso for the years: 1955, 1957-1960 and 1965. It also contains some data from the missionary periodical Nigrizia and the weekly La Settimana Incom. This was the result of a project directed by Nicola Labanca and sponsored by the Archivio Fotografico Toscano (AFT) in 1998-1999. This digital archive, which contains around 2100 references to photos (date, caption, related article, notes), is held at the Archivio Fotografico Toscano (Prato) Italy. A sample of it has been published in “L’immagine fotografica dell’Africa: rassegna dei periodici illustrati 1955-1965” Baratieri Daniela, Finaldi Giuseppe and Labanca Nicola in AFT 16, 2000. More generally the material used, which included other magazines and dailies, was mainly held at the Biblioteca Nazionale and Emeroteca of Firenze. 310 Oral Testimonies Oral material from the Archive of the Torino University collected for Luisa Passerini’s seminar “Guerra d’Etiopia,” 1976-77. Oral sources collected in public conferences as part of Nicola Labanca and Annalisa...

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