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Back to the future. The visual propaganda of Alleanza Nazionale (1994-2009)

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Observers who have investigated Alleanza Nazionale's relationship to historical fascism have mostly relied on programmatic documents as well as Gianfranco Fini's speeches and interviews. This article tackles the same question by considering the visual propaganda produced by the party from its launch in 1994 to its merger with Silvio Berlusconi's Popolo della Liberta in March 2009. An examination of the logos, the portraits of Fini and other imagery that feature on posters, brochures, websites and the party daily Secolo d'Italia shows that they frequently refer, albeit mostly covertly, to the iconographies of fascism. The contemporary visual sources used by Alleanza Nazionale and the strategies adopted to present a modern and respectable image are also explored. The article argues that much of the propaganda of Alleanza Nazionale incorporates two levels of meaning: an overt and moderate one, which addressed the general public, and a concealed one celebrating ideas and values of the Ventennio, which aimed to reassure a hard-core of activists that the party had not betrayed its original identity.
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Keywords: Alemanno; Alleanza Nazionale; Berlusconi; Fini; Popolo della Liberta; neofascism; posters; propaganda

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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