{ peace }


Mussolini’s speech continues by labelling the Empire as an “Empire of peace, because Italy wants peace for itself and for everyone and decides to go to war only when it is forced by urgent and pressing life necessities”.

The idea of a threatening enemy coming from far countries is still a very effective tool of propaganda, the psychological impact of fear is strong and uncontrollable and produces an idea of knowledge that reinforces the power and interacts with it. The knowledge of the occupation of the Ethiopian Empire is linked to that kind of power and acts by creating a dominant narrative that excludes all the other existent narratives: Italy wanted to civilise the African Horn in order to gain and bring peace, the deaths of the locals and soldiers are just a collateral damage, necessary to pursue a greater purpose. The records of the war recount a different history, made of atrocities that can hardly be seen as self-defence acts: as Dr. John Melly, who led the British Ambulance service in Ethiopia, describes: “[…] This isn’t a war – it isn’t even a slaughter – it’s the torture of tens of thousands of defenceless men, women and children, with bombs and poison gas. They’re using gas incessantly […].”


Ilaria Lombardo