Keywords: Public memory; commemorative rituals; political mythology; political use of the past
The article deals with the issue of public memory of an episode of Resistance in a small town in Northern Italy. In particular, it considers an openly fascist commemoration promoted by a group of veterans and other participants who are nostalgic of the Italian Social Republic. The case is particularly interesting because it allows one to observe the unfolding memory conflicts as seen in a public event sponsored by a community of memory that operates on a twin plane: the construction of a social bond to the interior and the creation of conflict with the outside. The analysis focuses on the ambiguities inherent in the memorial model adopted by the participants, on public uses of history, on the performativity policy of rituals and on the issue of political mythology that underlies the identity of those commemorating. It is precisely in memory practices that these aspects can be clearly observed and analysed.