• Performing reconciliation: Milan and the memory of Piazza Fontana

      Caoduro, Elena; O'Rawe, Des; Phelan, Mark; University of Bedfordshire; Queen's University Belfast (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-07-29)
      Elena Caoduro’s essay explores the relations between a history of political violence and the function of art with reference to the 1969 Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan. This terrorist attack inaugurated the most violent decade in the history of the Italian republic: the anni di piombo (‘years of lead’), in which Italy experienced waves of social conflict and unprecedented acts of violence carried out by both right- and left-wing paramilitary groups. Caoduro analyses how the city of Milan monumentalises the victims of this massacre and searches for reconciliation between conflicting truths, since the last trial proved inclusive and provided no closure. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur’s seminal Memory, History, and Forgetting (2004), Caoduro attempts to discern when it is right to remember and when it is better to forget, or indeed how much we should remember. Although arguing that cathartic narration can assist national reconciliation, she cautions against political amnesty being accompanied by amnesia.