Una Favola Vera (A True Fairytale): Stop action animation, using plastesine, 8'07"
Inspired by an unaccomplished personal project, in this animation I’m exploring ideas of intention, extension and failed romanticism.
I used images and texts from mass produced postcards, packaging, calendar booklets, books, posters and pamphlets that were created and used as political propaganda devices advocating and legitimatizing the invasion of Ethiopia by Fascist Italy during WWII. These materials portrayed Ethiopia as a country rich in resources, but a country that needed to be civilized and liberated, the people as savages, millions of slaves yearning for freedom, giving them the right for invasion, "spazio vitale" (vital space).
Some of these prints were on the front covers of school notebooks targeting the youth. Some were games that taught the geography, history, and natural resources of Ethiopia. In some games the winner was the first to capture the capital city, Addis Ababa.
Benito Mussolini, the leader of the National Fascist Party called Ethiopia “a place in the sun”. The second invasion was not only a vengeance for the surprising victory of an African empire over Italy in the battle of Adwa, 1896 A.D. but also to acquire natural resources with which to tackle the Great Depression.
Romanticism is extremism, it is a way of longing for a utopic condition through fantastical imagination. A utopia signifies a perfect or ideal place however directly translated the word means "no place". To say the least, one person's concept of a perfect place is not necessarily another's. No utopia is for all.
During the 5 years of Italian occupation, the supermacist, fetishized and brutal vision also resulted in the spending of millions building roads especially and prosperous new neighborhoods (some for the purpose of segregation) at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.