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Architecture as propaganda in twentieth-century totalitarian regimes. History and heritage

Book edited by Håkan Hökerberg, 351 pages, Firenze: Edizioni Polistampa, 2018

Håkan Hökerberg, Istituto Svedese di Studi Classici a Roma, hkb@isvroma.org

It is well known that architecture has the potential to support and promote ideological propaganda. In the totalitarian regimes of twentieth-century Europe, political leaders clearly understood that potential and knew how to exploit it. As a consequence, architecture prospered under totalitarian rule. When the regimes eventually collapsed, they left a rich architectural legacy, which remains today as an evident and sometimes awkward part of the urban landscape. This conference volume explores how prominent architects conveyed the dominant political programmes of totalitarian regimes through buildings, monuments and urban planning. Scholars from a range of academic backgrounds examine the significance of difficult architectural heritage with regards to national identity and historical understanding – whether this heritage is acknowledged or ignored. Examples illustrate different approaches to the management of ideologically controversial heritage, reflecting the varying ambitions of former totalitarian nations to confront their dark past.

Håkan Hökerberg, Introduction
Stefan Berger, National tradition! What national tradition? – Historiographical debates on fascism in italy and Germany from 1945 to the post-Cold War period
Antonello Alici, Giuseppe Pagano and Casabella. In defence of modern Italian architecture
Hannah Malone, Marcello Piacentini: a case of controversial heritage
Paolo Nicoloso, The fascist memory of the war and its legacy. Two cases: the Redipuglia War Memorial and the Ara Pacis of Medea
Raffaele Giannantonio, Fascism/Urbanism: Town, New-Town, Non-Town
Giorgio Ciucci, The Italian, Soviet Union and German pavilions in international Exhibitions 1925-1939
Harald Bodenschatz, Berlin Mitte: the product of two dictatorships
Manuel Blanco, The reconstruction of Spain in the post-war period. The Dirección General de Regiones Devastadas
Sonja Ifko, Slovenia in a Yugoslavian context – practicing architecture on the third side of the Cold War
Patrick Leech, The anxieties of dissonant heritage: ATRIUM and the architectural legacy of regimes in local and European perspectives
Sharon Macdonald, Endorsement effects and warning potentials: Architecture from totalitarian eras as heritage
Valerie Higgins, Hidden in plain sight: the impact of Rome’s fascist past on contemporary heritage management
Håkan Hökerberg, The past in the present – difficult heritage in the contemporary context
Max Page, The Arc of Memory and the Arc of Justice: How memorials to European fascism matter

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