9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS07 Memory, Culture and Public Discourse

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Contested Memories Building I, 1E7

From un-recognized to critically reconsidered past. Public memories about colonialism in contemporary Italy

Since the end of World War II to the end of XX century, Italians almost forgot their colonial past. It was not even a "traumatic" past: at least in the public sphere, it was properly an un-recognized past.
However, different social actors are beginning today to propose some representations of such a past under the influence of various factors. Notably, Italian colonial past is becoming a topic in some popular fiction: novels and comics.
The paper will discuss some of the possible reasons both for past neglecting and current reconsidering Italian colonialism in the Italian public sphere.
But colonial past may be represented in very different ways: the paper aims to show how different these ways may be and to underline the political and moral value of what we may call memoria autocritica: representations of the past that are able to circulate within the public sphere and to foster self-awareness and criticism about colonial ideologies and the crimes they legitimated.
Theoretically, the paper is substained by a phenomenological and interactionist view on public memory, which the author presented in some of his past articles.