Ilyas Azouzi

Ilyas’s PhD focuses on the debates which led to the creation of an imperial architecture in fascist Italy between the proclamation of the Empire in 1936 and its fall in 1943.
His thesis aims to shed light upon the fascist regime’s attempt to demonstrate cultural hegemony through architecture and urban planning, and to analyse the apparent shift towards a more monumental and classically-inspired architecture. The purpose is to understand the ideological connections between politics and aesthetics which facilitated the proclamation of the Italian Empire in 1936, and which were expressed through the planning of the Empire’s capital cities, colonial settlements, città nuove (new towns), and exhibition sites. 

Overall, Ilyas’s research looks at the instrumentalisation of the built environment, and seeks to highlight how it became a propaganda tool for the celebration of imperialism, nationalism and even fascist ideologies up to the eve of the Second World War.


Supervisors: Axel Körner and Edward Denison
Working title: 'E42: The Fascist claim for universal authority'
Expected completion date: 2022

Conference papers and presentations

  • “Circulating the review Difesa della Razza. Racist propaganda and Empire in Fascist Italy” in Culture, Things, and Empire, CTE Virtual Seminar Series, July 2022
  • “From Fascism to Communism: The afterlife of the Ufficio Centrale per l’Edilizia dell’Albania” in L’Italia e il mondo post-coloniale: Politiche di cooperazione e mobilità tra decolonizzazioni e Guerra Fredda, SISSCO - Società Italiana per lo Studio della Storia Contemporanea, Università di Cagliari, June 2022
  • “Displaying the opera del regime. Imperial propaganda and architectural depictions in newsreels and magazines” Building the Exotic Through Transmedial Practices, Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, May 2022
  • “E42: The EUR and the idea of Empire” in ArCHeoM, Swiss Archaeology in the Western World Congress, Rome, February 2022
  • “Imperialist propaganda and architectural publications in the course of the svolta totalitaria” in Costruire la Nuova Italia: Miti di Roma e Fascismo, Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa / Newcastle University, January 2022
  • “Erased Memories: Italian colonialism and its material legacies” in I Venerdi Pomeriggi series, Istituto Svizzero di Roma, January 2022
  • “Il nostro programma: Architettura and the Union of Fascist Architect’s Quest for Power” in DocTalks, Platform for Architectural History Researchers, ETH Zurich, November 2021
  • “Romanità, Civiltà, Razza: Urbanistica fascista and the rhetorics of imperialism” in Roma Calling, Istituto Svizzero di Roma, September 2021
  • “Traces of erased memories: Italian colonialism and architecture in Albania” in Dissonant Echoes of History: Contested and Divided Memory in 21st Century, Europe Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley, March 2021
  • “Taking Control. Imperialist propaganda and architectural publications” in History and Memory of Italy’s colonial past, Modern Italian History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research (IHR), London, February 2021
  • “Worthy of the Mother Country: British Pavilions on the Eve of the Second World War” in Building Ruptures, Published in conjunction with the Architectural History Symposium, London: The Bartlett School of Architecture, October 2017

Prizes and Scholarships

  • Doctoral Scholarship at the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom given by the Max Weber Foundation, 2022
  • Awardee at the British School at Rome given by the Raleigh Radford Rome Award, 2022
  • Fellowship at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, 2021
  • “Brilliant Research-based Education”, given by the UCL Student Choice Award, June 2021