Tammurriata Nera. Sessualità interrazziale nel secondo dopoguerra italiano

Vincenza Perilli


Since the liberal era, “half-breeds” have been one of the greatest problems Italian  colonial  racism  had  to  face.  From  the  initial  absence  of  explicit  prohibitions to useless and confused attempts to stop “interracial sexual unions” (long tolerated only  in  the form of the “madamato”), to the Empire’s final prohibition of “unions of conjugal nature” between  “nationals” and “subjects” (which introduced the asymmetry of the entwined relationship of race and  gender; see Sòrgoni  1998), the “miscegenation” problem was continuously short circuited by the popular  image  that  the  racist  discourse  had  helped  construct.
After WorldWar  II,  while  the  new  republic  attempted  to  put  the  ugliness  of  colonialism  behind  as  the mere product of  fascist  barbarism, a heavy silence fell around the issue of the “mixed” children who were abandoned by their Italian fathers in Africa, while the birth of “mulatto”  children by “Italian” women and non white allied soldiers, reintroduced the “problem” in  the heart of the  metropolis.
In  this  paper , using  archival  documents,  and  iconographic,  literary  and  cine-matographic  sources, I analyze  the  strategies  empluyed to  conceal  the  unions  and  births of  those  who  would represent, to cite an Italian deputy during a Constituent Assembly session in 1947) “the […] Nation’s abjection” because of the “Italian-black colour of their cheeks.” The analysis reveals  the persistence of violent relationships of domination after the war, simultaneously “racial- ized” and “gendered”, which are still affecting our postcolonial present.  

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13136/2281-4582/2015.i6.299


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