TITLE

SIMBOLI IN RITUALNE PRAKSE SPORA IN SOŽITJA. NEKATERI ITALIJANSKO-SLOVENSKI DISKURZI

AUTHOR(S)
Fikfak, Jurij
PUB. DATE
January 2009
SOURCE
Studia Ethnologica Croatica;Jan2009, Vol. 21, p355
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In the last twenty years in particular, the Slovenian (as well as Croatian) and Italian ritual practices that refer to, celebrate, or commemorate events or persons from the period dealt with in the joint report by the Slovenian-Italian historical committee - that is, from the end of the nineteenth century to the 1950s - have been characterized by a problematic relationship and intertwining of various discourses of different branches of authority on both sides of the border, discussions by historians of various ethnic backgrounds and orientations (e.g., negationist, revisionist, realistic, etc.), numerous Partisan and Italian exile organizations, neo-fascist and other subcultures, Internet forums, and so on. Based on an analysis of individual cases in Slovenian-Italian contacts, the author outlines some constants of discourse that assigns ethnic qualities, and occasional internal disagreements or ambivalences, and at the same time reveals the options for a more reflective relationship towards the past that have already been applied before. On 10 February, just over a week after commemorating the millions of Holocaust victims, the Italians annually commemorate the exodus of over 200,000 Italians (among these were also Slovenians and Croatians that opposed communism) from Yugoslavia, and especially the victims disposed of in karst shafts - foibe when the Yugoslav Army drove the German army out of Trieste and ruled it for 40 days until the beginning of June 1945, when it had to relinquish it to the Anglo-American allied forces. In February 2007, the exodus and the victims were also commemorated by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, a former communist, who gave a speech at Quirinal Palace on the barbarism, Slavic expansionism, and bloodthirsty rage of Tito's army. He repeated the content of this speech again a year later, and then partly mitigated his views in 2009 by mentioning the fascist crimes that occurred before the tragic exodus and killings connected with the karst shafts. Napolitano's words had a great impact in Slovenia and Croatia; the Croatian president saw elements of racism, revisionism, and the like in them. The European Commission disregarded the speech, but rebuked Croatian President Stjepan Mesic for reacting "inappropriately" to Napolitano's speech. This official Italian position raises the question of the extent to which subcultural productions (especially graffiti, YouTube videos, and other video production) find their roots and a haven in the dominant discourse of certain official branches of authority. Is it possible that the graffiti on the memorial to the Slovenian victims of World War II in Bagnoli della Rosandra-Boljunec near Trieste and on the atmospheric Partisan monument in the village of Trnovo, and the video Trieste - ultima frontiera (Trieste: The Final Frontier) on YouTube, which revives the ideological discourse of a great Italy as the last outpost of civilization, apply certain similar or even identical elements (e.g., the Slavs as barbarians, loss of memory of the fascist violence from 1919 to 1943) as the discourse of the authorities?…
ACCESSION #
47731941

 

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