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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

The Italian Right and colonialism in the magazines (1947-1966)

di Federico Robbe
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 50 (2015), p. 139

The article aims to understand the path of colonial memory of the Italian Right in its neo-fascist and “apolitical” components. After the Peace Treaty of 1947 and the loss of the colonies (Somalia was ruled by an Italian Trusteeship Administration between 1950 and 1960), the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement reclaimed insistently the return of overseas territories. Then, in the Fifties, colonial memory became a recurring issue in large circulation weekly magazines such as «Oggi», «Gente» and «Epoca», related to the moderate Right. These magazines strengthened the myth of “Italians as a good people”, especially regarding the fascist Ethiopia. Only in the mid-Sixties, thanks to the first scientific studies, that myth was undermined. Therefore a continuity between neo-fascist message and widespread magazines existed: the latter were certainly less racist, but equally involved in the spreading a stereotyped and positive vision of Italian civilization. But it was a false narration functional to contemporary political interests, in fact it didn’t stand the test of time. Keywords: colonialism, neo-fascism, Italian Right, popular magazines, decolonization, colonial crimes