Indigenized Italian Identity in the Postcolonial Somalia of the 1950s

Mariagrazia  De Luca (University of California, Berkeley)

What did being Italian mean in the 'peripheral' space of the (post)colonial Somalia of the 1950s? This paper explores how "Italianità" (Italianness) underwent a process of redefinition by looking into postcolonial Somali writers' literary works and putting them in dialogue with textbooks and newspapers of that time. The mediatization of Italian identity through newspapers and radio, the presence in the cityscape of elements that reiterate an imperial version of Italian history, and the Italian educational system created a tension between the "center" of Italianità s and its "periphery," resulting in a multifaceted, conflicting, and ‘indigenized’ identity of the Italians of Somalia.

Part of 04-13 Inventing Italy from Its Edges, Friday, October 14, 8:30 am–10:00 am