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Culture, tourism and fascism in Venice 1919-1945

Longo, S; (2005) Culture, tourism and fascism in Venice 1919-1945. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis engages with recent debates surrounding the relationship between culture, ideology and politics in Venice under Italian Fascism. It aims to establish if the Fascist project for the 'nationalization of the masses' through culture was successfully promoted in Venice, or whether local economic interests were afforded a higher priority by the town authorities. It argues that local elites were not primarily concerned with the endorsement of Fascist ideology through cultural politics but considered exhibitions, plays, concerts and festivals to be the route to boosting economic growth through the development of the tourist industry. The thesis examines the ways in which the Venetian municipality was able to work with the Fascist regime, co-operating with national political directives provided these did not contradict the primary objective of restructuring and reviving the Venetian economy. Cultural policies in Venice were thus less a vehicle for Fascist ideology than a pragmatic means of injecting new life into the flagging post-war economy through the development of new forms of 'cultural tourism'. Festivals, exhibitions and traditional events were placed at the service not of the Fascist programme of mass cultural mobilisation, but of local business and political elites whose interests ultimately depended upon the revitalization of commercial tourism and the economic and social rejuvenation of the Veneto region. The familiar image of a 'totalitarian' state penetrating deep into all aspects of society is in need of serious qualification and a more realistic interpretation of Fascism in Venice must take account of the complex and sometimes ambiguous relationship between the national interest, as constructed by ideologically-driven Fascist organs and agencies, and the requirements of institutions and elites at the local level.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Culture, tourism and fascism in Venice 1919-1945
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1416334
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