Fascism’s Mediterranean Empire: Occupation, Governance and Italian Colonial Modernity in the Dodecanese Islands (1923-43)
Publication date: Mar 04, 2014 09:31 AM
Start: Mar 19, 2014 12:00 AM
Valerie McGuire (European University Institute)
From the time of conquest during the Italo-Turkish War (1912) until the 1943 armistice when the nation was forced to relinquish all claims to colonies abroad, Italy’s various radical ideologies held the Dodecanese Islands up as the “pearl” of its Mediterranean empire. Historians invest Italy’s expansion into these islands as merely strategic. This talk rethinks that premise by discussing artefacts that characterize Italian rule of the islands: public works of architecture; propaganda in film; photography; travel literature; and programs to educate the next-island generation in Italian language and Fascist culture. Fascist Italy’s effort to refashion the legend of its ancient dominance of the Mediterranean and foil its backwater reputation resulted in a unique project of national and colonial modernity.