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Italian Colonialism

Legacy and Memory

Jacqueline Andall and Derek Duncan

Until relatively recently, the Italian colonial experience was largely regarded as an incidental aspect of Italy’s past. Studies of liberal Italy and even fascism underplayed both the significance of the state’s colonial ambition and its broader cultural impact. In the post-war era, even less consideration has been given to how this colonial legacy still affects Italy and the countries it occupied and colonized.
This book arises out of a major two-day international conference held at the Italian Cultural Institute in London in December 2001. The essays investigate the ways in which the Italian colonial experience continues to be relevant even after the end of empire. They explore the ways in which the memories of Italy’s colonial past have been crafted to accommodate the needs of the present and the extent to which forgetting colonialism became an integral part of Italian culture and national identity. These issues have come into sharper relief of late as labour migration to Italy has led to new social and cultural encounters within Italy. The essays additionally investigate the colonial legacy from the perspective of Italy’s former colonies, highlighting the enduring social, cultural and political ramifications of the colonial relationship. This interdisciplinary collection contains contributions from international experts in the fields of history, cultural studies (literature and film), politics and sociology.
Contents: Jacqueline Andall/Derek Duncan: Memories and Legacies of Italian Colonialism – Nicola Labanca: History and Memory of Italian Colonialism Today – Giampaolo Calchi Novati: ‘National’ Identities as a By-Product of Italian Colonialism: A Comparison of Eritrea and Somalia – Daniela Baratieri: Bengasi - Bengasi anno ’41: The Evidence of Silences in the Transmission of Memory – Derek Duncan: Italian Identity and the Risks of Contamination: The Legacies of Mussolini’s Demographic Impulse in the Work of Comisso, Flaiano and Dell’Oro – Charles Burdett: Colonial Associations and the Memory of Italian East Africa – Alessandro Triulzi: Adwa: From Monument to Document – Sandra Ponzanesi: Beyond the Black Venus: Colonial Sexual Politics and Contemporary Visual Practices – Jacqueline Andall: Immigration and the Legacy of Colonialism: The Eritrean Diaspora in Italy – Cristina Lombardi-Diop: Selling/Storytelling: African Autobiographies in Italy – Pauline Small: Immigrant Images in Contemporary Italian Cinema: A Nation with a Clear Conscience? – Ruth Iyob: From Mal d’Africa to Mal d’Europa? The Ties that Bind.