History and representations of confino

Confino (i.e., internal exile) was a malleable form of imprisonment during the Fascist ventennio. Confinement allowed Mussolini to bypass the judiciary thereby placing prisoners outside magistrates’ jurisdiction. The Regime applied it to political dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities, gender nonconforming people, and mafiosi, among others. Recent political discourse in and beyond Italy has drawn on similar rationales to address perceived threats against the State. This study examines confino from a historical, political, social, and cultural perspective. It provides a broad overview of the practice and it also examines particular cases and situations. In addition to this historical assessment, it is the first to analyse confinement as a cultural practice through representations in literature (e.g., letters, memoirs, historical fiction) and film. English-language publications often overlook confino and its representations. Italian critical literature, instead, often speaks in purely historical terms or is rooted in partisan perspectives. This book demonstrates that internal exile is not purely political: it possesses a cultural history that speaks to the present. The scope of this study, therefore, is to provide a cultural reading that makes manifest aspects of confino that have been appropriated by contemporary political discourse. Although directed towards students and specialists of Italian history, literature, film, and culture, the study offers a coherent portrait of confino accessible to those with a general interest in Fascism.

Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

138 4 Screening internal exile Introduction: Confino as holiday Film has received short shrift in studies on internal exile during Fascism. Those who write on it tend to mention only two films on the subject, in most cases quite briefly:  Ettore Scola’s Una giornata particolare (A Special Day, 1977)  and Francesco Rosi’s Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1979), which narrate the experience in disparate fashions.1 In the former, internal exile is briefly referenced, while the latter visualises the experience of political confinement

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

91 3 Writing internal exile Writing confinement This chapter examines internal exile as it appears in literary fiction, personal correspondence, and memoirs. Unlike in the previous discussion of the history of confinement, the concern is not with the investigation and deployment of truths but rather with representational strategies; we are interested in how these texts convey information and how they suppress it. The questions addressed in the following sections, then, are the following: How did people write about their experiences in internal exile? What did

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

176 5 Queering internal exile on Italian screens Introduction The promotion of internal exile as holiday is particularly interesting when considering the experience of men sent to the islands (most commonly the Tremiti but also to Ustica) for suspicion of ‘pederasty’, as it was referred to at the time. As Lorenzo Benadusi explains, it is difficult to know exactly ‘how many people were sent to confino because they were thought to be homosexual’.1 Police records indicate that 88 political prisoners and 298 common criminals were sent to internal exile for

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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Brian Baker

of exile in relation to the spaces of Clare’s life and death. In Northampton library, Sinclair discovers a death mask of the poet which, like the objects found in Rodinsky’s room, is: ‘A confirmation of absence. The municipal shrine is a secondary imprisonment, keeping the poet in Northampton, along with his papers, his much-travelled library … The books travelled, as he did, into a definitive exile’. 8 Death is the final exile for Clare, but alienated and incarcerated far from his home, Clare himself suffered a form of ‘internal exile’ for long periods of his

in Iain Sinclair
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Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

prison life’.1 These two competing narratives of freedom and torment are recurring motifs in the memories of Italians sentenced to confino (internal exile) under Fascism. Confined to prisons without walls (remote islands and villages) far from their Altheas, thousands of men and women suffered this punitive practice, which the Regime had adopted as a political means to discipline dissidents.2 To pre-​empt public criticism of the measure, Mussolini spun these detention sites as more akin to island getaways than to isolated penitentiaries. Fast-​forward to 2003, when, in

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

painful … There where they live and speak you are excluded from everyday life and conversations. The exclusion appears in all of its violence because it is reflected in the mirror of the community that hosts you denying you hospitality.) Estrangement, segregation, exclusion defined a perpetual state of being in which the torment of physical proximity denied the possibility of emotional solidarity. 46 46 Context and history of internal exile A  prison without walls inflicts torments without end. Fascism’s adoption of confino occurred in November 1926, when the

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

11 1 The Lipari colony: paradiso/​inferno Lipari Lipari. To Sicilianise Compton Mackenzie’s Highlands, ‘inadequate indeed would be the guidebook or traveller’s tale that did not accord to Lipari a place of honour in the very forefront of Italian scenery and romance’.1 Benito Mussolini and his Chief of Police, Arturo Bocchini, professed similarly grandiose sentiments to dismiss denunciations of confino, Fascism’s extrajudiciary practice of internal exile. In fact, Bocchini went so far as to argue that bucolic settings were necessary to confinement because their

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake and Dana Renga

collapse of Fascism. After the war, the Allies’ military triumph produced a new interregnum, one that would eventually cede though never completely concede the national and international orders conceptualised by the internally exiled. What this book has argued in Part I is that the Fascist Regime expanded upon a pre-​existing practice of political repression to surveil Italians to an unprecedented 199 Conclusion extent. Surveillance based on economic class, political affiliations, social associations, religious communities, ethnic groups, and public and private

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy
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Author: Brian Baker

This book is a comprehensive critical introduction to one of the most original contemporary British writers, providing an overview of all of Iain Sinclair's major works and an analysis of his vision of modern London. It places Sinclair in a range of contexts, including: the late 1960s counter-culture and the British Poetry Revival; London's underground histories; the rise and fall of Thatcherism; and Sinclair's writing about Britain under New Labour and Sinclair's connection to other writers and artists, such as J.G. Ballard, Michael Moorcock and Marc Atkins. The book contributes to the growing scholarship surrounding Sinclair's work, covering in detail his poetry, fiction, non-fiction (including his book on John Clare, Edge of the Orison), and his film work. Using a generally chronological structure, it traces the on-going themes in Sinclair's writing, such as the uncovering of lost histories of London, the influence of visionary writings, and the importance of walking in the city, and more recent developments in his texts, such as the focus on spaces outside of London and his filmic collaborations with Chris Petit. The book provides a critically informed discussion of Sinclair's work using a variety of approaches.