Moderns Abroad

Architecture, cities and Italian imperialism Taylor & Francis Croup LONDON AND NEW YORK 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business 2007 Mia Fuller This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to...

Caate

More interesting is that this legacy is part of the world of leisure and consumption. Italian beach settings today often seem to echo the colonial holiday settings of the past, especially since the buildings are the same as in the former colonies. In some cases, this echo is quite blatant. For instance, quays in the port of Livorno (Leghorn) - quays for ferries of travelers departing for the southern Italian islands - are named after cities of the former Empire Benghazi, Addis Ababa, Gondar,...

Epilogue

For most Italians today, the colonial era ended long ago despite the best efforts of a few dedicated scholars, they know very little about it. It is impossible to gauge how many Italians fought in colonial wars and settled in the colonies for any length of time. But it has been estimated that one in ten Italian households in the metropole had touristic and propagandistic literature about the colonies in their homes by the end of the colonial era.1 Without question, then, Italians could not...

Construction And Domestic Spaces

We have seen that by the late 1930s, architects' discussions about proper colonial style had waned, and their attention had turned to plans. The single Italian writer who carefully documented local vernacular housing forms in Addis Ababa was Rigotti, who examined tukul shapes as well as house-shops . . . belonging to Arabs or Levantines . . . made of masonry, and a single storey high.47 In part, his interest in all matters of construction in the capital was practical, extending to materials and...

The Voices Of Experience 1936

These early remarks by two Rationalist architects were only that not fleshed out or comprehensive enough to provide any usable principles for future city administration, they were merely precursors of discussions to come. More substantial signs of Italians' theoretical turn toward segregation-based city plans, instead, began to appear with published descriptions of the early-1930s plan for Tripoli by Novecentisti Alberto Alpago Novello and Ottavio Cabiati. Echoing the master-plan's own...

Early Remarks

This is not to say, of course, that Italian architects had ignored colonial cities' plans until then. Descriptive plans had been drawn up since the late nineteenth century and in their earliest articles on colonial architecture, both Rava and Piccinato had commented on colonial city layouts. Rava was strictly interested in Tripoli, and while he made passionate claims about the city's overall feel and how to preserve it, his discussion did not amount to a generalizable theorization. Instead, the...

Novecento Continuities 1936

While Rationalists had journeyed from high theory to extreme practicality in the previous five years, Novecento architects' views had not varied. They supported the use of a modern, or renewed, neoclassical style they held that the admirable qualities of local domestic architecture were really Roman, and Rationalists had not acknowledged such origins sufficiently like the Rationalists, they disliked misplaced eclecticisms and they believed important buildings should be monumental and signify...

Rationalist Practicalities 1936

The quantities of articles published between 1931 and 1936 praising architects' designs in Libya reflected architects' efforts to expand their professional horizons to the colonies. Furthermore, many of the articles rejoiced in the variety of architectural approaches, creating an architecturally polyphonic effect in which Accademici, Novecentisti, and Rationalists would appear to have worked harmoniously to create rich effects. But after the international economic sanctions against Italy in...

Imperial Urbanism 19361937

The colonial city is that urban area most typically characterised by the physical segregation of its ethnic, social and cultural component groups.1 Colonial cities, more than other cities, serve as expressions of dominance in colonial cities the relationship between the dominator and the dominated is clear, as are the political agenda and the motivations behind it.2 While their debates on architectural form flagged, colonial architects shifted their attention to city planning. As described in...

Introduction

Since the beginning of time, civilization and architecture have walked hand in hand.' Ferdinando Reggiori, Architect, '936 Nothing is fundamental T he foundations of power in a society or the self-institution of a society, etc. are not fundamental phenomena. There are only reciprocal relations, and the perpetual gaps between intentions in relation to one another.2 In '936, the prominent Italian architecture review Domus published an editorial entitled Civilt (civilization), featuring the image...

Italian Colonial Architecture And Planning In Chronological Context

The protagonists of this book are architects, engineers, agricultural developers, members of military and civilian colonial governments, and members of government in the metropole. They generally agreed on basic principles, and relatively little of what follows is a tale of genuine dissent. The only truly spirited debates emerged among architects, in the years when they attempted to reconcile colonial discourse to architectural rhetoric (1929-1936). The usefulness of architecture to...

Italians Colonialism And The Colonized Populations

There can be no doubt that how Italians construed differences among local populations, and between those populations and themselves, influenced decisions they made about colonial architecture and city planning. Does this mean that Italian designers thought in terms of their buildings' impact on colonized populations Only partly. Depending on their settings, sometimes Italian colonial buildings were especially meant to be seen by members of powerful nations, European ones in particular...

Approach

My readings of Italian colonial documents and of Italian colonial buildings and city plans inevitably reveal more about these Italian imaginings than about the effects of Italian occupation. Tensions between Italian aspirations and local realities are part of each case I present in this book however, my central focus is on the organizing concepts of Italian colonial architecture, rather than on the local impact in each case. Underlying these architectural concepts was the fact that Italian...

History

Italian colonialism was an entirely political phenomenon it produced prestige, but never power.1 Imperialism,2 as practiced by late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europeans, was haphazard, careless, and poorly directed. The good and bad effects were more the result of accident than of calculation. Few administrators were well-trained to cope with modernity few were even interested in it.3 The progress of the arts during the Fascist period - when Italian architects theorized colonial...

The Colonies Under Fascism

Just before the beginning of the Fascist era28 - our fourth threshold, and the last one before the conquest of Ethiopia in 1936 - Venetian industrialist Giuseppe Volpi became Governor of Tripolitania. Although he arrived under the auspices of a Liberal-era government, he initiated policy changes that were well-attuned to the new directions the government would soon pursue.29 When Volpi came in 1921, Italians had not yet seized full control of Tripolitania outside of its cities. In early 1922,...

The War On Ethiopia

Meanwhile, Ethiopia, still under imperial rule, had been following its own path toward modern statehood. In 1931, its most important bank was nationalized, the first national constitution was drafted, and the first Parliament was held. Even before his coronation as Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930,40 ras Tafari Makon-nen had focused on modernization, the abolition of slavery, Ethiopia's entry into the League of Nations in 1923, and a grand tour of Europe in 1924.41 Italy's 1935 attack on...

Consequences Of Empire

The government attempted to reach more deeply into domains of social life in the late 1930s, aiming increasingly to control the movements and intimate lives of Europeans and African in AOI. In a foretaste of the racial laws affecting Italy's Jews in 1938, interracial sexual relations, marriage, and the paternal acknowledgment of interracial children became illegal in AOI in 1937 48 subsequently, similar efforts were made to impose ethnic segregation in Libya. There had been racist practices...

The Last Stages Of Italian Colonial Expansion

In the few years before Italy entered World War II in June 1940, two further developments altered the geography of its Empire. First, just as three Algerian d partements had been absorbed into metropolitan France in 1881, Libya's four coastal provinces became an integral part of Italian territory in January 1939 rather than a colony, they were now Italy's nineteenth regional district. The advantages of this change for Italy were two to ensure for itself a vast reservoir of Libyan military...

Geographies

The enterprise of empire depends upon the idea of having an empire and all kinds of preparations are made for it within a culture.1 There is no doubt that Italian colonialism was characterized by an extraordinary ignorance of the regions and the populations it set out to conquer.2 In addition to the physical constructions that are the main subject of this book, Italian imperialism involved various symbolic and rhetorical constructions of the colonial territories and their populations. These...

Tropes Before And After Adwa

Motivated by commercial appetites, discussions of spontaneous and natural colonies to which Italy might lay claim in the Mediterranean and Red Sea areas dated to the 1850s - before Italy's unification in 1861 - and continued in that vein until after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.17 The first Italian agricultural development opened in 1867, in what would later become Eritrea, and closed in 1870.18 The idea that Italy was entitled to land in the Mediterranean Basin on the basis of its...

Tropes Yearning For Empire

Rhetorical preparations for Italy's attacks on Ethiopia bore little overt resemblance to the eloquent parliamentary and public debates of earlier imperialist phases. Occurring in the later years of the Fascist regime, the war on Ethiopia was not a decision made in public, in the Chamber of Deputies, or in the press. Nonetheless, crucial themes of national prestige and echoes of antiquity had endured from the Liberal period into the Fascist one. Mussolini differed from his predecessors in that...

Populations Hierarchies And Policies

Along with images of colonial territories came images of populations, or human geographies.55 Italian colonial societies were certainly racialized, and no colonial populations were ever considered equal to Italians, unofficially or officially but practices varied widely. For instance, housing designs for Italian farmers and for natives, which are described in Chapter 8, reflected a highly differentiated set of assumptions regarding the various colonized populations and their respective levels...

Unofficial Views Of Otherness

In unofficial views, colonial populations were ranked simply, according to their perceived cultural and social distance from idealized modern Italians. I negri (blacks), comprising everyone in East Africa except coastal Arabs or small communities of Indians, Jews, and Greeks, and a few residents of Libya, were the least differentiated category, and they were at the farthest end of the scale. Closest to Italians were the Greeks of the Dodecanese Islands, who were hard to distinguish from Italy's...

Official Views Of Otherness

Before deciphering the specifics of native policy changes in the official domain, let us turn to religious policies, which were fairly stable.69 While independent missions were present in all the colonies, the Italian government did not especially favor proselytizing.70 In Ethiopia and the Dodecanese Islands, the dominant populations were Christian but not Roman Catholic. Italian authorities there made considerable efforts to break the chains of authority that linked local religious leaders to...

Native Policies

A number of scholars have divided official racial policies throughout Italian colonialism into three sequential phases we can summarize as ones of assimilation (imposed integration into the European system), association (some juridical autonomy, separate institutions, and indirect rule through local elites), and apartheid (extreme separateness combined with inequality in all spheres).78 All are agreed that apartheid best describes Italian policy in the late 1930s, when Mussolini explicitly...

The Nonobservance Of Native Policies

Official policies were not always implemented, and they did not preclude most interactions between Italians and natives in ordinary daily life. Oral histories show especially well just how wide the gaps between policy and practice were, even on the part of Italian officials who upheld the late-1930s laws publicly.109 After royal family member Duke of Aosta replaced Graziani as Viceroy of AOI in 1938, Fascist leaders and local notables were seen together once again at Italian bars in Addis...

The Colonial Built Environment Untheorized 1880s1920s

Until Fascism, almost no architect - never mind one in fashion - was called to work in the colony of Eritrea .1 Italians only began to express concern about the politics of their colonial architecture - how colonial buildings represented Italy - in the late 1920s, when a few architects began to decry it as a problem of national relevance. Before then, administrators bought existing buildings or built new ones in Eritrea and Somalia according to their most pressing needs allowed the areas...

Archaeologists And The Historic In Tripoli

The distinction Italian colonizers drew consistently between what they saw as historic and non-historic is worth emphasizing, not only because it was so critical to all their decisions bearing on the colonial built environment, but also because scholars of colonial architecture and urbanism have largely disregarded the role of such distinctions, focusing instead on differentiations based on race, religion, ethnicity, and gender. For Italian archaeologists and early administrators, the historic...

Modern Italian Architecture 1910s1930s

Around the turn of the twentieth century in Italy nothing was more ambiguous than the expression architect. At times it obscured the illegal practice of someone with a degree in architectural drawing more often, it indicated an engineer who was momentarily involved in artistic themes.' Architecture is no longer the art of decorating houses that are already built, which sees the architect's function, illogically, as that of the man who stretches some sort of covering over a naked wall, or the...

Architects And The Fascist State

But the story of modern architects' rise in Fascist Italy cannot be told, even as summarily as I have done here, without clarifying the extent of the profession's political involvement with the state, and the state's reciprocal involvement with the profession. Scholarship on modernism in interwar Italian architecture was long stymied by the embarrassment of architects' ties to the Fascist government. Since the early 1980s, however, when Diane Ghirardo and Giorgio Ciucci, respectively, addressed...

Competing Approaches And Factions

While the triumvirate of Giovannoni, Calza-Bini, and Piacentini may appear to have been somewhat cynical, for many architects there was more than profit at stake in the profession's pursuit of the state's patronage. The idea of representing the new state and the ancient nation of Italy offered a heady mix of seductive sensations, in which individual profit was one factor, but others were the satisfaction of serving the profession and the glory of representing the state. Architects' writings of...

Italian Moderns

Having briefly explored the inner workings of the architectural profession's new institutional configuration, let us turn to the question that is crucial to all the developments charted in this book what did modern mean for Italian architects and planners Regardless of their particular orientation, these professionals all used the term in one way or another to describe the architecture they strove to formulate. Thus the term was ambiguous at all times its meaning varied according to who used...

International Modern

Let us return to the terms in which Italian architects themselves framed their search for the modern. The progress of Italian Rationalism is decipherable in two principal phases of both theorization and professional cohesion. The first began in 1926, when the first (and most frankly internationalist) Rationalist writings appeared in print, and includes the March 1928 MIAR exhibition. The beginning of the second phase can be traced to the same MIAR exhibition, as that is when fissures within the...

Historic Modern

The idea of turning to antiquity and other historic periods for architectural models was not new, of course. Even in the late nineteenth century, designers had sought to ground a national architectural style for the now-unified Italy in any number of precedents. Furthermore, archaeology and architectural history were influential in defining legitimate artistic sources for Italian identity throughout the post-unification period. The novelty of the historic modern, though, was the effort to make...

Traditional Modern

Architects' interest in remote islands as unwitting museums of uncorrupted vernacular domestic architecture began long before the 1920s in fact, the idea of an autochthonous modern had been afoot since as early as 1890.63 Modernists elsewhere were turning to the vernacular for inspiration in the 1920s,64 and in 1920s Italy - when concepts of Italian tradition in general were studied and even reinvented for ideological purposes65 - architects' focus on the southern islands of Capri and Ischia...

Mediterranean Modern

While traditional-modern discourse referred occasionally to the Mediterranean-ness of the Italian vernacular, a parallel set of theoretical elaborations was developing that was focused primarily on Mediterranean modern and its implications for Italian modernism and colonial architecture. Scholars have commonly credited Rava with initiating discussions of mediterraneita in modern Italian architecture,76 as he did himself.77 His original statement on the subject dates to 1931 We are the fated,...

Against Imitating Native Architecture 19251926

When Giovannoni first raised the issue of Italians' designs for new buildings in the colonies in 1925, he criticized a new church built outside Rhodes' old city, describing it as an imitation of structures within the old city. His dream for the new Rhodes, as he put it, was to honor the glorious city of distant ancestors - meaning, in this case, not Romans but medieval Christian knights, who had controlled the island prior to Ottoman rule - but he objected to architecture that obscured Italy's...

The Late1930s Masterplan By Urban Hygiene Specialists

Unlike Stark in Benghazi, foreign travelers to Tripoli in the mid- and late-'930s noted the presence of Arabs throughout the city's central area, in one case pointing out that there is no colour bar . . . about seats in the public gardens.49 Nevertheless, by the late '930s some important changes were made to the city's master plan, moving incrementally toward displacing natives from the mixed center and gutting areas of native quarters. In this respect, even though Tripoli's plan was not an...

Architecture From 1934 To 1940 Harmonious Eclecticism

In order to understand changes made in Tripoli beginning in the mid-'930s, we also need to take into account the fact of Italo Balbo's governorship, which began in January '934. He does not appear in the documents discussed above, but he energetically organized air shows, car races, and other such spectacles, and made astute use of propaganda, giving the colony a highly public profile. He involved himself in the city's development, forming an aesthetic-oversight commission upon his arrival.74...

Settlements And Government Sponsorship 1890s1930s

Architectural sophistication, meanwhile, had never been a typical concern of the engineers, agronomists, politicians, and private investors with interests in the colonies' agricultural concessions in the decades leading up to the 1930s. Instead, the main question at stake for the development of the colonies was whether to pursue demographic colonization - the state-sponsored settlement of Italian farmers on a grand scale. We have already seen that the first colonial farming settlement,...

Segregation And Contact In The New Addis Ababa Intentions And Facts

In the context of these discussions of Ethiopia's architectural value, the contradictions of Italians' virgin fantasy become most apparent. Addis Ababa was not virgin, as Italians complained, but in their view what was there was without value, making the site near-virgin, or capable of being returned to near-virginity by razing what stood there. Because Ethiopia's cities were perceived as containing little or nothing of historical or exotic value (with the sole exception of Harar, a walled,...

The Design Formula

Although these settlements were strictly rural, the development of their basic outlines and contents played a role in the further development of Italian colonial planning. Italians had previously developed their colonial city - mostly in Tripoli, but elsewhere in the Mediterranean as well, retaining its historic infrastructure while inserting new Italian structures. In 1936, with the occupation of Addis Ababa, planners turned to a system that was defined by segregation, as well as Italians'...

Selected Secondary Sources

Urban Apartheid in Morocco, Princeton Princeton University Press. AlSayyad, N. (ed.) (1992) Forms of Dominance. On the Architecture and Urbanism of the Colonial Enterprise, Aldershot Avebury. Baudez, G. and B guin, F. (1980) Arabisances observations on French colonial architecture in North Africa between 1900 and 19S0, Lotus International 26 pp. 41-S2. B guin, F., Baudez, G., Lesage, D., and Godin, L. (1983) Arabisances, d cor architectural et trac urbain en Afrique...

Tropes The Assault On Libya

The rhetorical geography of the second era of Italian imperialism differed markedly from the first one. Rather than using tropes of incarceration, asphyxia, and starvation, it drew its force from images of promised land and Empire regained. By the time Italians attacked Tripoli, writers and poets contributed mightily to the elaboration of Italian colonial visions in the public sphere. Some of their formulations defined the debates, and in a few cases their expressions remained in parlance...

Anthropological Distance 19361942

This new (or renewed) distance in Italians' positioning vis- -vis their colonies' natives and architecture found even greater voice in representations of the colonized populations as remote and exotic, such as those offered in travel publications. Such publications took a stance of condescending documentation, emphasizing the poor quality of local constructions - Evidently, the natives are not famous for the construction of their walls124 - and the impermanence of native settlements....

The Imperial Effect

The imperial model attempted in Addis Ababa was also applied, as much as possible, to cities under new Italian occupation, such as Gondar, Jima, and Dessie, in Ethiopia. Asmara, however - the capital city Italians occupied the longest - is the best site to examine the implementation of late-1930s Italian approaches to the city (Figure 9.6).54 Here, an adapted version of the imperial ideal was juxtaposed on the city, stretching the administrative buildings along the main axial road rather than...

The Early1930s Masterplan By Architects

According to the new plan developed in 1931-1933 and finalized in 1934, between 1928 and 1933 alone Tripoli's total population had grown from 63,400 to 88,900 inhabitants.31 Because the 1914 plan had not provided for such expansion, the Tripoli government commissioned a new plan, from Benghazi's planners Novecentisti Alpago Novello, Cabiati, and Ferrazza, approving it late in 1933, and passing it into law in 1934 (Figure 3.12). The city had spread far to the east, and road connections between...

History 18691943

1 Rochat, G. (1992) Il colonialismo italiano, in N. Labanca (ed.) LAfrica in vetrina. Storie di musei e di esposizioni coloniali in Italia, Paese Pagus, pp. 9-15, pp. 10, 12. 2 One useful way of distinguishing between imperialism and colonialism is to separate them in . . . spatial terms and to think of imperialism . . . as the phenomenon that originates in the metropolis, the process which leads to domination and control. Its result, or what happens in the colonies as a consequence of imperial...

Lost Civilization And Native Houses In Eritrea

Although classical discoveries in Libya and the Dodecanese Islands dominated Italians' curiosity about the colonies in the 1910s and 1920s, East Africa was not overlooked entirely. One exception to the general lack of historic interest in the Horn of Africa appeared in 1912, when a geologist and a geographer, Giotto Dainelli and Olinto Marinelli, published the findings of their travels through Eritrea in 1905-1906. They devoted a chapter to archaeological vestiges in the highlands, treating...

The Rise Of Italys Professional Architectural Institutions After Unification

Before a new kind of architectural training became available in 1920, different Italian specialists designed buildings specialists in engineering and ornamentation. As elsewhere in Europe, the split between technical and artistic approaches to architecture made its practice inconsistent. The idea of instituting an architecture university to overcome this inconsistency had been broached in Italy as early as 1859, when new technical schools (modeled on France's Ecole Polytechnique) opened. While...

Architecture In The 1920s Displaced Historicism And Regionalism

When Volpi became Governor of Tripolitania in '92', relatively little effort had been put into implementing Tripoli's masterplan. Volpi undertook an energetic urban program, returning to the city's development, and promoting its archaeological heritage. The earlier impulse of archaeologists and art historians to identify a few structures for preservation reached a new level of governmental rationalization when Volpi had an index of worthy buildings compiled. His administration also moved to...

Planned Agricultural Settlements

We aren't emigrating though, are we We're still going to our home, even more so we were born here in Italy , but there in Libya we will have land From a distance, the village which looked like a great whiteness of evenly distributed dice, could have been an Arab settlement But this was no Arab village, there was no white minaret.' While some architects in the early '930s engaged in recriminations about showcase architecture in Tripoli, a handful of others extended their practice into a field...

Names And Nicknames

In addition to the three conceptual geographies I have just outlined - imprisonment vs. freedom glorious antiquity vs. low status and having an Empire vs. becoming a colony - I want to outline another geography that of names (or toponyms). We have already seen that the Italian government named both Eritrea and Libya, choosing these names for their connotations of ancient Roman hegemony but popular nicknames added greater variety to how the Italians involved in imperialism pictured them. As with...

Islands Of Ethnicity Planned Agricultural Settlements

P. (1941) I villaggilibici, Turin Edizioni Arione, pp. 32, 35, 36. 2 Cresti, F. (1996) Oasi di italianita. La Libia della colonizzazione agraria tra fascismo, guerra e indipendenza 1935-1956, Turin Internazionale, p. 50. Definitive numbers of colonists have not been compiled, but the various statistics suggest a total of between 100,000 and 150,000 Italian colonists in the Libyan state-sponsored settlements by the end of colonial occupation. Also see Fowler, G. L. (1969) Italian...

The Istituto Nazionale Di Urbanistica Conference 1937

Such observations were further developed in 1937, in the large conference held by the National Urbanism Institute (Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica). One section of the conference was dedicated to colonial planning, and yielded a volume of twenty-two essays.22 (Interestingly, most of the contributions were from engineers rather than architects, which did not prevent Rava from rehearsing his battle cry that architect-urbanist s should be at the apex of the building hierarchy.)23 Like the Volta...

Tripoli

In a mere twenty-five years, Italy has transformed this city into a nearly European capital Modern Tripoli is quite an Italian success Latin Tripoli has become Italian again with ease Are we in Milan, in Rome ' We have already seen that Italian planning in Tripoli immediately after '912 did not derive from grandiose visions of long-term growth or prestige, focusing instead on cost-conscious solutions to pressing problems. The original plan's essential premises - shaping the new quarters' rapid...

Tripoli And The Dodecanese 19111912

The next major threshold in Italian colonialism after Adwa was the conquest of Tripoli and other coastal cities of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (Tobruk, Darna, Benghazi, and Khums), beginning in 1911.16 In one respect, this was an event of world-historical significance, as it marked the first military use of air power Italian planes dropped four bombs on camps outside of Tripoli on 1 November 1911.17 This successful aggression against the dwindling Ottoman Empire brought Italians' colonialist...

Mediterraneanist Variations 1931

By the early 1930s, architectural circles' growing discussions of colonial architecture had begun to attract the attention of prominent critics. Roberto Papini, for instance, reviewed an exhibition of colonial art held in Rome in 1 931.35 His review did not offer any particular novelty in the domain of stylistic criticism, but it publicized architects' growing wish that government - in particular, the Ministry of Colonies - would oversee and coordinate architectural production in the colonies....

Houses And Centers For Italians

The government's shift to direct sponsorship of intensive settlement programs is relevant here because it marked the transition to a systematization of settlement designs, under the direction of the Agency's architects. At the same time, just as the theorizations of architects we considered in earlier chapters did not influence all of architectural practice in Tripoli, architectural formulations did not reshape all of the concessions' designs, or even building terminology. Italian and local...

Italian Colonial Architecture And Planning In Comparative Context

While this book describes how architecture in the Italian colonies was seen differently across a long historical arc, it is also fundamentally comparative, charting the organizing concepts of Italian colonial architecture as they applied to different regions and cultures in North Africa, East Africa, and the Mediterranean. My focus on organizing concepts brings me to read architects' published texts and bureaucrats' memoranda more closely than I do particular buildings or particular cities....

Italian Colonialism In Retrospect

To be sure, the history of Italian colonialism bears some comparison to histories of other European colonialisms. But despite Italians' many efforts to catch up (with France and Britain in particular), theirs is a distinctive case which cannot always be understood by referring to other European colonial histories. Italy entered very late into the era of modern European colonialism. Its colonial policies might well have continued in the increasingly oppressive direction they had been taking, but...

Addis Ababa In 1936

Italian authors consistently represented Addis Ababa as a non-urban city, with no permanent structures or monuments worthy of the name. Planners, in their texts, depicted it as a nearly blank slate on which they laid out their grand designs. But in fact, Addis Ababa was already an important market hub participating in the world economy despite its geographic remoteness. It harbored a large international presence, both commercial and diplomatic. The market hosted a Saturday crowd of 30,000 to...

The Beginnings Of Italian Colonialism From Aseb To Adwa 18691896

Italian colonialism began with a single capital investment. In 1869, the inaugural year of the Suez Canal and a mere eight years after Italian national unification, the Rubattino shipping company independently purchased rights over a six-kilometer stretch of land at the Red Sea port of Aseb from local sultans.5 The company's agent, Giuseppe Sapeto, hoped to draw the Italian government into a colonial role. By the late 1930s, the government would be the principal economic support for all of the...

After Italys Defeat At Adwa

In the wake of this national disaster, politicians were reluctant to pursue Italian expansion any further. In late 1896, the government signed a treaty with the Emperor abandoning any designs on Ethiopia. Eritrea was assigned its first civilian governor, Ferdinando Martini, in 1897, when the colony was commonly judged to be a failure due to its poor agricultural results and high cost. Over the decade he served as governor, Martini changed this perception by establishing stable relations with...

The Mediterranean 1910s1920s

With their occupation of Tripoli in 1911-1912, Italians' attitudes to colonial city planning and architecture began to enter a new phase. For the first time, the Civil Corps of Engineers in Rome drew up a master plan for a colonial city (1912-1914).34 In part, this new level of government oversight stemmed from the value Italians placed on Tripoli, their first Mediterranean colonial city and part of a once-Roman province. On a larger scale, though, this first-time government involvement with a...

East Africa 1880s 1900s

Cities were the first zones of Italian occupation in East Africa, and the military administrators in charge there analyzed security questions above all. Although the government intended to settle Italian farmers in the long term (in Eritrea especially), its first major extra-urban constructions were forts.2 Once security became less of a preoccupation, responsibility for urban constructions and maintenance shifted from the military to the Ministry of Public Works. Nonetheless, in the coastal...

Against Inauthentic European Architecture 1929

Sventramento Roma

Carlo Enrico Rava's 1929 article on Tripoli, We Must Respect the Character of Tripoli's Architecture (Dobbiamo rispettare il carattere dell'edilizia tripolina), in contrast, not only voiced an appreciation for local buildings it also expressed a holistic view of the city and its parts, placing unprecedented emphasis on the colony's landscape and its role in generating appropriate architecture.18 By the mid-1920s archaeologists of art had already set a pattern of negating local architecture's...

Three Colonialurbanistic Modes

In 1929, a young architect, Carlo Enrico Rava, published an essay on Tripoli, the Libyan capital, which had been under Italian occupation since 1911. He argued for a modernist sensibility in Italian buildings, one in which forms would be adapted to the local climate and topography. In doing so, he positioned himself against two other kinds of builders in Tripoli. One set of builders had for some time been copying French and British usages, in colonies and at home, of concocted neo-Moorish...

Italians In The Colonies

Italian Colonies

Ann Stoler has explained variations in Europeans' colonial behavior on the basis of divisions among themselves 121 indeed, internal class differences help explain Italians' apparent nonchalance in some circumstances, regarding not only contact with natives, but their own laws. The use of clothing in particular as a marker for inclusion shows that Italians in the colonies applied the same grid for discrimination in the colonies as they did in Italy, where such indices as clothing were part of a...

Architecture From 1928 To 1934 Architectural Pluralism

It was into this architectural environment that a new generation of architects began to arrive in '928. Neither retrained decorators nor engineers, these were the same theory-driven architects who were on the rise in Italy Novecentisti and Rationalists. Furthermore, these years saw various competitions for large urban projects.'9 For both of these reasons, some scholars have described Tripoli in this period as an architectural laboratory or testing ground.20 Alessandro Limongelli, a classically...

Acknowledgments

This project would have been impossible without the generous support of a number of funders and institutions. I traveled to Rhodes, Libya, and Ethiopia thanks to grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, and the American Philosophical Society. A Fellowship from the Wolfsonian Foundation allowed me to explore its extraordinary collections. For research in Italy, I am grateful to the cole Fran aise de Rome, the Cesare...

Architects Comments

Florestano Fausto Tripolitania

Architects' taciturnity concerning the Libyan settlements is all the more striking in light of the otherwise abundant propaganda, as well as the fact that they published more profusely on the New Towns in the metropole.6 Since 1932, the principal agency in charge had been the Agency for the Colonization of Cyrenaica Ente per la colonizzazione della Cirenaica , which then became the Agency for the Colonization of Libya Ente per la colonizzazione della Libia , and the programs had been developing...

Illustration Credits

Cover Apollonj, B. 1937 L'attuale momento edilizio della Libia, ARC 16.2 pp. 793-817, image from p. 807 Intro.1 Levi Montalcini, G., Mollino, C., and Pifferi, E. 1936 Civilt , Intro.2 No date author's collection 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Maps by Brien K. Garnand 2.1 Cover of The Sphere, 4 November 1911 volume 47, number 615 2.2 Giammuso Mancioli, 1940 author's collection 2.3 No date author's collection 2.4 Haimann, G. 1886 Cirenaica Tripolitania , 2nd edition, Milan Hoepli, image from p. 178 2.5 Istituto...

The Italian Colonial City Tripoli

1 Guibon, A. 1939 Au volant sur la Translibyenne, Dieppe La Floride, pp. 11-12. 2 The latter figure included 12,358 Italians and 2,434 foreign residents. Braun, E. 1986 1914 The New Tripoli, and What I Saw in the Hinterland, London Darf Publishers, p. 89. Just eight years earlier, the population had approximated 30,000, including 4,000 Christians . . . living in a curious promiscuity with the natives Pinon, R. 1904 L'empire de la M diterran e, Paris Perrin, p. 293. 3 MAE, ASMAI, Eritrea,...

Colonial Modern 1920s1940s

2 Melis, A. 1935 Architettura coloniale, AIT 30 pp. 264-302 p. 264. 3 In addition, many of these constructions were the work of Italian designers. See Volait, M. 1987 La communaut italienne et ses diles, Alexandrie entre deux mondes, Revue de l'Occident musulman et de la M diterran e 46, 4 pp. 137-155 Environmental Design Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre 8, 9-10 1990 Volait, M. ed. 2001 Le Caire - Alexandrie. Architectures europ ennes 1850-1950, Cairo Institut fran...

The Italian Imperial City Addis Ababa

1 Poggiali, C. 1938 La nuova Addis Abeba, AA11, 2 pp. 455-493 p. 459. 2 Pankhurst, R. 1985 History of Ethiopian Towns from the Mid-Nineteenth Century to 1935, Stuttgart Steiner-Verlag-Wiesbaden, pp. 212, 216. 3 Denis, J. 1965 Addis Abeba, gen se d'une capitale imp riale, Bujumbura, Burundi University Press, p. 288 and Pankhurst, History, p. 212. 4 Pankhurst, History, pp. 212, 225-226. 8 Pankhurst, R. 1961 Menelik and the foundation of Addis Ababa, Journal of African History 11, 1 pp. 103-117,...

Edited by Thomas A Markus and Anthony D King

Architectural discourse had traditionally represented buildings as art objects or technical objects. Yet buildings are also social objects in that they are invested with social meaning and shape social relations. Recognizing these assumptions, the Architext series aims to bring together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative, and interdisciplinary, the books in the series, by theorizing architecture, bring...