Vol. 25 (2022): Cromohs

Photomontage in the Fascist Magazine La Difesa della razza: Visual Sources, Manipulations, Controversies

Vanessa Righettoni
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Thomas Coryat, Coryat’s Crudities: Reprinted from the Edition of 1611. To which are Now Added, His Letters from India, &c. and Extracts Relating to Him, from Various Authors [...] Together with His Orations, Character, Death, Etc. [...] (London: Printed for W. Cater, et. al., 1776), vol. III, n.p., ‘Coryat’s Letters from India’. Copy at The British Library, digitised by Google books.

Published 2023-01-31


  • Portuguese Language,
  • racist polemic,
  • photomontage technique


Through the analysis of some particularly significant examples, the article analyses the use of photomontage within the fascist magazine La Difesa della razza between 1938 and 1942: starting with the well-known first cover, which later became the logo of the periodical and blends together anti-Semitism and anti-black racism; up to some later images denigrating Africans, which also open up a reflection on the instrumental use of prints and works of art from the early modern era in racist polemic; and then ending with the anti-Semitic polemic during the Second World War and the question of the circulation of visual stereotypes in different fields and newspapers. As is evident from the examples examined, this cut-and-paste technique of assembling images and texts offered a way of disassembling, reassembling and manipulating heterogeneous sources, weaving them into a new texture: a modern language mobilised to engage the viewer through violent visual propaganda.