Beyond Rome : Brescia and the difficult heritage of Italian fascism

Journal article


Carter, Nick. (2023). Beyond Rome : Brescia and the difficult heritage of Italian fascism. Journal of Contemporary History. pp. 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1177/00220094231182444
AuthorsCarter, Nick
Abstract

Physical reminders of Fascist rule in Italy can be found in virtually every Italian town and city. To date, though, studies of how Italians have dealt with this ‘difficult heritage’ have focused overwhelmingly on Rome, where Fascism’s copious remains are treated and admired as aesthetic objects, unmoored from their political–historical origins. Implied, assumed or articulated in these studies is the idea of Rome as an exemplar of the nation: that what is true of the capital is true of the country. In fact, the idea that Rome’s approach to its Fascist heritage is representative of Italy’s has yet to be properly tested.This article argues for the need to go ‘beyond Rome’ in order to gain a deeper, richer, and more nuanced understanding of the ways in which Italians have negotiated the difficult heritage of Fascism. Focusing on the provincial Lombard city of Brescia, the article reveals the complex interplay between time, place, use, memory, aesthetics, and politics in shaping how bresciani have negotiated three surviving ‘faces’ of Fascism: Marcello Piacentini’s monumental piazza della Vittoria; Arturo Dazzi’s colossal statue ‘L’Era Fascista’, popularly known as the ‘Bigio’; and Oscar Prati’s monument-ossuary to the fallen of the Great War.

Keywordsfascism; Italy; difficult heritage; Brescia
Year2023
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Journal citationpp. 1-27
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN0022-0094
1461-7250
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/00220094231182444
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85166627840
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-27
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online30 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Oct 2023
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