Imperial compositions. Fascist colonialism in schoolchildren essays 1938-1943

Author/s Gianluca Gabrielli
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2013/272
Language Italian Pages 31 P. 343-373 File size 388 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2013-272001
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The A. analyzes the impact of colonial propaganda on Fascist school, drawing from a corpus of texts written by secondary school students over the years 1938-1943, on the occasion of three competitive examinations. The investigation enlightens the main topics underlying the educational trend of the times, among propaganda pressures, deep-rooted prejudices, personal recollections and gender sensitivity. In the essays the thrust toward the construction of the new Italian mingles with the description- invention of Africa and the Africans, alternately depicted as terrible enemies and yet savages to civilize in subjugation. The racist bias connoting this image of the Africans characterizes more or less overtly the great majority of texts, as may be expected for a cornerstone of colonial expansion. More generally, the study reveals a powerful and synergic action of the school system and the regime organizations tending to the creation of a colonial consciousness, yet without the least interest for the transmission of cognitive data regarding the conquered territories.

Keywords: Fascism, Fascist school, racism, colonialism, propaganda, image of the Africans

Gianluca Gabrielli, Svolgimenti imperiali. Il colonialismo fascista nei temi scolastici tra il 1938 e il 1943 in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 272/2013, pp 343-373, DOI: 10.3280/IC2013-272001