This article came at a good time because I read it after having the discussion group on Regina di Fiori e Di Perle, which put me in a very skeptical place regarding the portrayal of what happened in Ethiopia. In the discussion group I argued that the book includes Italian colonizers who we can relate to, who are “good” Italians. The “bad” Italians in the book are all generals and high-ranking soldiers who we knew were “bad” before even reading the book. Ghermandi portrayed the “real” Italians who we understand as good people, therefore they were unaccountable for their actions.
Pickering-Iazzi talked about this unaccountability in her article. When she was talking about the transportation of the Axum obelisk back to Adddis Ababa, she described different rationales for this gesture. One that she mentioned which fits in with the idea of unaccountability is that the emptiness of Piazza Capena (where the obelisk was housed) unburdens the Italians from the constant reminder of the fascist reign and the brutality they inflicted. Along with this, Pickering-Iazzi argued that the apologies by the President tried to erase Italy’s brutality from historical memory.
(re-erecting of the obelisk)
(an interesting article about Presidente Scalfaro’s death with a picture of him on a visit to Ethiopia)