Italy & Mussolini
about the Mussolini & Italy pages
The Italy home page begins with Mussolini's
fascist form of authority, and follows through his death, the end
of the regime, transition to another form, and consequences of this
particular end. The first section presents the public and private
sides of authority. Both the mass experience and individual identification
with his virility were integral to his authority.
Click on any of the six small photos and
you are linked to an enlarged image. For Mussolini we, in collaboration
with Maria Pia DiBella, have decided on music or sound that are
cinematic, operatic, or evocative of pageantry, since Mussolini
consciously cultivated his public image in these ways. Several of
the selections evoke both irony and pathos. They reinforce themes
from the image, such as thievery or father-son conflict. Listen
to the music or sounds by clicking on the small ear. Please be patient
as sound files take some time to load.
The caption does not direct you outside the
photo but rather to the image itself. What is included and excluded
from view? What does this image and juxtaposed sound say about authority?
The three longer "home page" texts that accompany the images and
sounds of each section attempt a succinct narration of the theme.
We selected images for their potential evocative
force, knowing full well that they lend themselves to different
interpretations. Often, as with the juxtaposition of the corpses
of Mussolini and Aldo Moro, we intend to elicit the viewer's ambivalence
with death imagery. How might one disidentify with Mussolini and
identify with Aldo Moro? How did Italy actually exit from its fascist
regime of violence?
The second section, on Death and Transition,
depicts how Mussolini, together with his mistress, was killed, and
hung in a public square. His body received special care: three autopsies.
What does this suggest about ending a regime?
Finally, the three "home page" texts that
accompany the images and sounds of each section attempt a succinct
narration of the theme. They point to the story, told in more detail
in the book and film.
The third section, Consequences, implies
no causal relationship but alludes to key events in the construction
of political authority, half a century of experience, following
the regime's end. What was the nature of the rupture in political
authority following the death of the Father? Our selection of ongoing
historical events merely suggests ways into further exploration
of Italian political authority.
Borneman & Linda Fisher, June 1999