Listening to Italian Colonialism

Listening to Italian Colonialism

Negli anni in cui l’Italia preparava l’invasione dell’Etiopia, decine e decine di canzoni vennero composte, eseguite, pubblicate e trasmesse per dare un contributo corposo all’impresa coloniale, ma anche per descrivere e far conoscere agli italiani in patria le terre occupate, gli ambienti, le persone, gli incontri.

Cosa vuol dire ascoltare queste musiche oggi? Cosa è rimasto della memoria sonora lasciata da queste tracce? E come è possibile analizzare e utilizzare questa eredità?

Listening to Italian Colonialism utilizza questi suoni d’archivio come spunto di discussione e confronto tra studiosi, musicisti e attivisti, nella speranza che ascoltare oggi ‘Adua’ o ‘Sul mercato di Macallè’ aiuti a comprendere come i suoni possono riscrivere la storia e allo stesso tempo svelare connessioni profonde con la modernità.

As Italy was preparing to revenge the defeat of Adwa, dozens of songs that thematized Ethiopia were composed, performed, published and broadcasted to accompany the Italian military campaign. However, these songs transcended the basic intention of the fascist regime and started to incorporate descriptions of places, people, encounters.

What does it mean to listen to these songs today? What kinds of traces remain of this sonic memory? And how can we analyze and interpret this heritage?

In these short clips, named “Listening to Italian Colonialism”, sonic archives are used to foster conversations and discussions among scholars, musicians and activists. The dialogue therefore helps to unpack the ways in which songs such as “Sul Mercato di Macallè” (re)write history and display deep connections with modernity.

click the image to watch the video

LANGUAGE: Italian with English Subtitles

LISTENING TO ITALIAN COLONIALISM is a project coordinated by Gianpaolo Chiriacò and developed by Alessandra Ferlito and Emilio Tamburini.

The project is based at the University of Innsbruck and supported by a FWF (Austrian Science Fund) grant.

Many thanks to the Istituto Centrale per i Beni Sonori e Audiovisivi (Rome)

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