This contribution addresses the notion of “Uses of Past” against two “modernist rural landscapes” examined in the framework of the MODSCAPES project.1 Both covering a rather short timeframe, the cases of Northern Greece (1920s) and of the Pontine Plain in central Italy (1930s) represent polar opposites in this respect. In the aftermath of the Greco-Turkish war (1919-1922), rural modernisation of Northern Greece was implemented as a response to a geopolitical and humanitarian crisis. In Fascist Italy, instead, “integral reclamation” of the Pontine Marshes, finalised in 1935, was part of Mussolini’s ruralisation policy, a step towards national self-sufficiency, setting agriculture and related “healthy industries” against the disastrous effects of industrial urbanism. Many scholars questioned the monolithic perception of architecture and town planning of the Fascist period, yet the idea of modern Italy empowering the legacy of the ancient Roman Empire was a fundamental part of the political propaganda underpinning major interventions. In Greece, there was no room for rhetorical narratives. The decision to concentrate the majority of Asia Minor refugees in the newly acquired border regions set the priority on cost-efficient standard projects and bottom-up community development. Additional aspects may lead to consider these two case studies as poles apart. The Pontine region was a true repository of projects partially or fully implemented over the long period, whereas Northern Greece emerged from four centuries of Ottoman rule and only some decades of agricultural development triggered by the construction of railway lines. Apparently similar responses to radically different problems, these rural modernisation processes do present a common denominator in the presence of an infrastructural scaffolding (Zarecor 2018) inherited from the distant past, namely the Via Appia and Via Egnatia, part of the same route from the Adriatic to the Black Sea. Both maintained a strategic role in the new schemes, favouring resettlement operations and the logistics of reclamation. Identifying which elements of the historical palimpsest played a vital part in large-scale resettlement and reclamations schemes, this contribution aims at challenging the very notion of heritage, admitting its functional and symbolic potential as an asset, as part of a “latent order” awaiting future interpretations

Modernist rural landscapes along ancient roads

Cristina Pallini;Aleksa Korolija
2022

Abstract

This contribution addresses the notion of “Uses of Past” against two “modernist rural landscapes” examined in the framework of the MODSCAPES project.1 Both covering a rather short timeframe, the cases of Northern Greece (1920s) and of the Pontine Plain in central Italy (1930s) represent polar opposites in this respect. In the aftermath of the Greco-Turkish war (1919-1922), rural modernisation of Northern Greece was implemented as a response to a geopolitical and humanitarian crisis. In Fascist Italy, instead, “integral reclamation” of the Pontine Marshes, finalised in 1935, was part of Mussolini’s ruralisation policy, a step towards national self-sufficiency, setting agriculture and related “healthy industries” against the disastrous effects of industrial urbanism. Many scholars questioned the monolithic perception of architecture and town planning of the Fascist period, yet the idea of modern Italy empowering the legacy of the ancient Roman Empire was a fundamental part of the political propaganda underpinning major interventions. In Greece, there was no room for rhetorical narratives. The decision to concentrate the majority of Asia Minor refugees in the newly acquired border regions set the priority on cost-efficient standard projects and bottom-up community development. Additional aspects may lead to consider these two case studies as poles apart. The Pontine region was a true repository of projects partially or fully implemented over the long period, whereas Northern Greece emerged from four centuries of Ottoman rule and only some decades of agricultural development triggered by the construction of railway lines. Apparently similar responses to radically different problems, these rural modernisation processes do present a common denominator in the presence of an infrastructural scaffolding (Zarecor 2018) inherited from the distant past, namely the Via Appia and Via Egnatia, part of the same route from the Adriatic to the Black Sea. Both maintained a strategic role in the new schemes, favouring resettlement operations and the logistics of reclamation. Identifying which elements of the historical palimpsest played a vital part in large-scale resettlement and reclamations schemes, this contribution aims at challenging the very notion of heritage, admitting its functional and symbolic potential as an asset, as part of a “latent order” awaiting future interpretations
rural modernisation
reclamation
inner colonisation
Pontine Plain
Northern Greece
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Pallini_Korolija_ANTROPOLOGJI vol. 4_no. 1_2021.pdf

Accesso riservato

Descrizione: estratto rivista
: Publisher’s version
Dimensione 1.3 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.3 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1218324
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact