Rebellious Walls: Graffiti in Italy during the Cold War (1948-1955)" in: "Words of Power, the Power of Words. The Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective
Graffiti constitutes a significant but very little used source for analysing the relationship between the ‘subversive’ language of the working classes and the ‘micro’ propaganda of the ICP (Italian Communist Party) in the central years of the Cold War. These are the walls that, already extensively used by the rhetoric of Fascism, resume speaking with a rebellious use of language, and where you can find both political orthodoxy and working-class irony. Invectives, incitements to fight, comments on events, humour, aggression, puns. They can be found at street crossings, at the entrances to factories and schools, in the streets of working-class neighbourhoods: all physical spaces where a mark can be left. Their communicative strength lies in their simplicity and immediacy. Moreover, the territory is physically marked and personal presence is given visibility in a context of verbal and ideological confrontation, the traces of which are recorded by the public security organs. Although this phenomenon is not easily measurable and difficult to compare, the language and geography of these ‘poor’ forms of protest and social and political communication also help us to better understand that ‘local’ account which represents the uncertain boundary between working-class rebellion and the ICP’s propagandistic activities.
Studi di Storia
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Enrico Mannari, "Rebellious Walls: Graffiti in Italy during the Cold War (1948-1955)" in: "Words of Power, the Power of Words. The Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 181-218