Split Personality Fascism

Heroic and aggressive gestures are often one and the same. Heroes are known to be an aggressive lot — especially if they are representing a cause. This cover of Gioventu Fascista, the journal of Mussolini’s Italian Fascist youth organization, was later known for his highly stylized, art deco depictions of the “new youth.” But during the early years of Fascism, in this instance “Anno I” of the Fascist era, it was a magazine more interested in promoting overt heroics in the name of party and country. Yet there is a curiously disjointed stylistic voice here: The expressive typography is influenced by Futurism and has a light-hearted look, while the image is textbook ham-fisted heroic propaganda — an interesting contrast.

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