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Antifascist legacies: musical memorializations of the WWII Resistenza in contemporary Italian popular music.

Since the early 1990s a considerable number of musicians in the domain of Italian popular music have dealt with the memory of the WWII antifascist Resistenza and the Italian civil war (1943-1945), and have brought these themes to the core of their creative activity and intellectual reflection. The seminar inspects this phenomenon as an entry point for discussions of music, memory making and political engagement. Considering music as a communicative medium, an affective experience and a social practice hatched within networks of engaged citizenship and activism, I set out to probe music's contribution to a broader public debate about the Resistenza and its contested legacy in today's Italy. Recapturing perspectives from memory and media studies, I highlight processes of mediation and remediation of the past as foundational strategies of musical memorialization and elucidate the creative and complex reformulation of representational referents and memory signs in Italian popular music through intertextuality, irony, and formal experimentation. In dialogue with critical historiography and political philosophy, I argue that the musical mobilization of antifascist memories provides an avenue of active vigilance over the present.
Period15 Feb 201813 Apr 2018
Event typeWorkshop
LocationLisboa, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Antifascist legacies
  • World War II
  • Italy
  • Popular music
  • Resistance