This article aims to expose the political and cultural processes that contributed to the eradication of problematic memories of the Italian colonial period during the national reconstruction following the Second World War. It offers a systematic examination of newsreels and documentaries about the Italian former colonies that were produced between 1946 and 1960, a film corpus that has largely been neglected by previous scholarship. The article first dissects the ambiguous political scenario that characterised the production of this footage through the study of original archival findings. The footage configured a particular form of self-exculpatory memory, which obstructed a thorough critique of the colonial period while articulating a new discourse about the future presence of Italy in the former colonies. This seems to be a case of aphasia rather than amnesia, insofar as the films addressed not an absence, but an inability to comprehend and articulate a critical discourse about the past. This aphasic configuration of colonial memories will be tackled through a close reading of the voice-over and commentary. In so doing, this work suggests that the footage actively contributed to spread un-problematised narratives and memories about the colonial period, whose results still infiltrate Italian contemporary society, politics and culture.

Amnesia, aphasia and amnesty: The articulations of Italian colonial memory in postwar films (1946-1960)

Mancosu G.
Primo
2021

Abstract

This article aims to expose the political and cultural processes that contributed to the eradication of problematic memories of the Italian colonial period during the national reconstruction following the Second World War. It offers a systematic examination of newsreels and documentaries about the Italian former colonies that were produced between 1946 and 1960, a film corpus that has largely been neglected by previous scholarship. The article first dissects the ambiguous political scenario that characterised the production of this footage through the study of original archival findings. The footage configured a particular form of self-exculpatory memory, which obstructed a thorough critique of the colonial period while articulating a new discourse about the future presence of Italy in the former colonies. This seems to be a case of aphasia rather than amnesia, insofar as the films addressed not an absence, but an inability to comprehend and articulate a critical discourse about the past. This aphasic configuration of colonial memories will be tackled through a close reading of the voice-over and commentary. In so doing, this work suggests that the footage actively contributed to spread un-problematised narratives and memories about the colonial period, whose results still infiltrate Italian contemporary society, politics and culture.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
DEF GMancosu - Amnesia aphasia and amnesty. The articulations of italian colonial memory in postwar films_19461960.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Tipologia: versione editoriale
Dimensione 1.23 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.23 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/346297
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact