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AHCS Student Speaker Series | Deborah Galante: "Gino Boccasile: Art, Propaganda, and Racism in Fascist Italy: 1936-1944"

Thursday, November 26, 2020 16:00to18:00

 We’re excited to invite you to the first edition of this year’s AHCS Student Speaker Series, featuring Deborah Galante, a 6th-year PhD student of art history at McGill. Deborah’s talk is entitled “Gino Boccasile: Art, Propaganda, and Racism in Fascist Italy: 1936 – 1944.” Please join us on Thursday, November 26th at 4PM EST (on Zoom) for a great presentation and, afterwards, a Q&A period––we look forward to your participation!

Please email caitlin.loney [at] mcgill.ca for the Zoom link.

This paper analyses two posters by Italian graphic artist Gino Boccasile during the Fascist dictatorship in Italy from 1922 until 1945. Boccasile, a talented illustrator and fervent fascist, worked in publicity since the start of his career, gradually ascending to become the main graphic designer for the Italian regime, creating propagandist billboards supporting both Fascism and Nazism and demonizing enemies such as the Allies or Russian Communists. I suggest these two billboards – the first, advertising a popular Italian liquor, and the second, an alarmist warning directed to Italian men during the Allied invasion in Italy throughout the Second World War – clearly demonstrate Fascism’s xenophobic and sexist ideology. Boccasile’s work reveals a deeply consolidated white supremacist and male-centric mentality in Fascist Italy. Indeed, in 1938, racial laws were promulgated along with the publication of La Difesa della Razza (The Defense of the Race), a magazine promoting the idea of “true” Italians as Aryan, thus racially “superior." To conclude, by discussing Fascism’s corrosive ideology through an art historical lens, I wish to point out visual arts’ significant role during an infamous period of Italian history.


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