Bebè racconta la guerra. Propaganda fascista e dischi per bambini (1920-1930)


Soon after the appointment of Benito Mussolini as Italian prime minister in 1922, the indoctrination of young people became one of the primary business of the fascist agenda. Although several studies have shown how literature, comics, and radio broadcastings broadly contributed to these processes of consensus building, the world of recordings for children has received scant attention, except for works concerning educational activities in connection with the music appreciation movement. This article attempts at casting light on this little-known sector of Italian cultural industry, starting from a general survey of recordings for children in the international market – a context to which Italian experiences must necessarily be referred. Then, products published in the 1920s and 1930s by La Voce del Padrone and Columbia are analysed, focusing in particular on two preeminent releases by the latter: a "speaking book" which narrates the rise of Fascism through texts, paintings, and recordings; and a "sound story" of Micky Mouse as a soldier in the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1936). The aim is to contextualise these recordings in the processes of industrialisation of the Italian cultural market, showing their contribution to the militarization of juvenile imaginaries of war.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v9i1p35

Keywords: Children Records; Fascism; Cultural Studies; Media studies; Music and Media

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