Images from the war years

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The main holiday season Christmas and New Year and the Befana is now long gone and this week the only other break during the cold winter months, that of  Carnevale was enjoyed by many but that too won’t be back for another 12 months so what this leaves us now is a fairly long gap until the arrival of Easter in April.

Hard news gets to be a bit short on the ground and so this is probably the time of year when we can get a bit more esoteric with some of the articles.

So how about this –  O’ Connor, the barganews award winning photographer  is known in the city for always being “armed” ..  it is very rare to see the man without his camera slung over his shoulder.

For some strange reason all of the images that he brought into the barganews office over the last three days all had  more or less the same theme running through them – that of nostalgia for the way of life in Italy before, during and between the two world wars.

The first series of images came from Antonio Chiappa, the Barga barber down in Barga Giardino. (articles about Antonio here)  These were postcards sent back to Barga during the war,  small black-and-white photographs of Barghigiani in uniform and a pay packet from the 1920s.

An interesting postcard in the collection  was one which the sender had written a secret message hidden under the stamp to avoid it being read by one and all.

Chiappa is considering a small exhibition of these photographs and postcards  sometime this summer.

At the other end of the scale,  was the appearance of a calendar in Barga Vecchia purporting to be a “Calendario storico 2010 – LXXXVII E.F.”  – the historic calendar 2010 –  the 88 year of the Fascist Era.

Although the calendar was up-to-date and was in fact for 2010,  the images were of Benito Mussolini and contained phrases and messages made famous by Mussolini during Italy’s Fascist period.

«I lavoratori devono amare la Patria. Come amate vostra madre…». «Molti nemici molto onore». «Credere, obbedire, combattere»

The calendar was in fact a publicity stunt put out by a regional politician of the far right, Luigi Celori.

“L’apologia del fascismo è un reato previsto dalla legge 20 giugno 1952, n. 645 (contenente “Norme di attuazione della XII disposizione transitoria e finale (comma primo) della Costituzione”), anche detta “legge Scelba”, che all’art. 4 sancisce il reato commesso da chiunque «fa propaganda per la costituzione di un’associazione, di un movimento o di un gruppo avente le caratteristiche e perseguente le finalità» di riorganizzazione del disciolto partito fascista, oppure da chiunque «pubblicamente esalta esponenti, princìpi, fatti o metodi del fascismo, oppure le sue finalità antidemocratiche». – source wikipedia

It seems nobody had informed him of the law passed on the 20 June 1952, n. 645 – “Norme di attuazione della XII disposizione transitoria e finale (comma primo) della Costituzione”), also known as the “legge Scelba”,  which strictly forbids this kind of propaganda.

On a lighter note,  news is starting to filter through the city of a new five piece group featuring a female vocalist now in the rehearsal studios whose main theme for their music is going to be Italian swing from the 30s, 40s and early 50s. Hard precise information on the make up of the musicians in the group  is still hard to come by as they seem to be keeping their cards close to their chests but word in the piazza is that they will be performing for the first time publicly in this area sometime before Easter at the Barga Jazz club.  Watch this space

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