Colonialism for Juniors
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.
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