The Italian Fascists under Mussolini hoped to reestablish their empire, and focused on Africa as a vulnerable target rich with natural resources. Subjugating the indigenous population was part of their plan, and teaching Italian children the virtue of such behavior was the role of the schools and Fascist organizations. These two quaderni (notebooks) were among many school books that were illustrated with symbolic images that celebrated the Italian domination of “Terra Abissina,” Lybia and Ethiopia.
The coloring book, although not a piece of propaganda per se, is a tacitly racist piece of ephemera that was typical of the ways in which Italian children of the period between the ’20s and ’40s were taught to think about Africans.
Support PRINT. Subscribe.
At PRINT, we don’t believe in paywalls. But we still need support from our readers. Consider subscribing to PRINT today, and get in on the conversation of what the brightest minds in the field are talking about right now.
Treat yourself and your team to a year of PRINT for $40—which includes the massive Regional Design Awards issue ($30 on newsstands).