Freitag, 08. Mai 2015, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Gastvortrag David Forgacs (New York University)

Italy’s Margins in Photography and Film

Institut für Romanistik
Spitalgasse 2 – Universitätscampus AAKH, Hof 8; ROM 14, 1090 Wien


“Marginal” places – including slums, mental asylums, colonial peripheries, poor rural areas, “nomad camps” – have long held a particular fascination for writers, photographers and filmmakers. This talk looks at what lies behind that fascination, with specific reference to the Italian case. It examines the link between social exclusion and the formation of the nation state. It considers the power relations in play when photographs or films of marginal people or places are made by and shown to people from a more culturally prestigious center. And it considers a number of attempts to reverse these ways of looking and showing by describing marginal people more empathetically or by involving them in the production of accounts about themselves.

The talk draws on a research project carried out in 2008-12, whose main outputs have been an exhibition, shown in Rome and New York, of 100 found photographs and film clips, and the book, Italy’s Margins, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. The Italian edition, Margini d’Italia, will be published by Laterza in May 2015.

David Forgacs holds the endowed Guido and Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò Chair of Contemporary Italian Studies at New York University. He taught previously at University College London, Royal Holloway London and the universities of Cambridge and Sussex. His books include Mass Culture and Italian Society from Fascism to the Cold War, with Stephen Gundle (Indiana University Press, 2007; Italian edition Cultura di massa e società italiana, 1936-54, Il Mulino, 2007), L’industrializzazione della cultura italiana 1880-2000 (Il Mulino, 2000) and The Antonio Gramsci Reader (NYU Press, 2000) His work on cinema includes a co-edited book on Rossellini (2000), essays on Antonioni (2000, 2009, 2011) and Pontecorvo (2007), and full-length audio commentaries for the DVD and Blu-ray discs of Ossessione, Il Gattopardo, Il deserto rosso and Il conformista.


Fotocredits: Marco Delogu, "Senada e Jonathan" (2000)

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Institut für Romanistik


Elisabeth Fraller
Institut für Romanistik