Antifascist legacies: musical memorializations of the WWII Resistenza in contemporary Italian popular music.
Antifascist legacies: musical memorializations of the WWII Resistenza in
contemporary Italian popular music.
Frederico Spinetti (Musikwissenschaftliches Institut - Universität zu Köln)
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.
Dr Federico Spinetti is professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Cologne, Germany. His main research interests include music and politics, music and memory, auditory cultures and the built environment. His research to date has addressed the political economy of music in post-Soviet Central Asia, the music- architecture nexus in Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and historic musical relations across the Mediterranean. He is currently undertaking research into musical memorializations of the WWII antifascist resistance in contemporary Italy. An active filmmaker, he has directed several documentaries, including Zurkhaneh – The House of Strength: Music and Martial Arts of Iran (2011) and The Enemy – A Partisan Hymnbook (2015).