SYA Italy's Daniele Gatti

The (Current) History Lesson of the Istrian, Dalmatian-Julian Exodus and the Massacre of the Sinkholes

Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 12 PM EDT

History, Cicero said, is "magistra vitae," but we continue to replicate wars and massacres in the name of the same ideals, using propaganda to justify genocide. In this class we will focus on the complex coexistence between Italians and Slavs, especially in the period between the First and Second World Wars, in the regions of Venezia Giulia, Istria and Dalmazia. We will talk about the bloody “massacre of sinkholes'' known as foibe.

We will be guided by questions such as: what dynamics affected people and their identity when they found themselves on a territory in conflict, which they had previously called homeland? Are the oppositions between different ethnic groups to be considered an anthropological constant or more of an instrumental political lever?

The class will focus on the foibe and the exodus of Italians from the former Yugoslavia, while also examinging the parallels with the Russia-Ukraine war, especially in the portion dedicated to open questions.

Prior to class, familiarize yourself with the basic geography of the region prior to have a better understanding of the topic; see recommendations below.

Here are some resources to help familiarize yourself with the topic:
Noi Esuli
Magazzino 18 Simone Cristicchi
Il sorriso della Patria
Letteratura Sull'Istria E L'Esodo

Conversational skills in Italian is recommended.

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