Markus Wurzer: "Der lange Atem kolonialer Bilder. Visuelle Praktiken von (Ex-)Soldaten und ihren Familien in Südtirol/Alto Adige 1935-2025"

What is it about? Colonialism is part of many European family histories: To this day, families keep diaries, militaria, or loot that their ancestors brought home as colonial agents. These objects not only testify to family entanglements with but for decades have also shaped collective ideas about the colonial past. Photographs – as supposedly authentic testimonies – have played a major role in this process. Beyond the death of the generations that had direct experience of colonialism, photographs convey colonial "success stories", making families a repository of colonial historical myths, for example of the "decent" colonial masters. This book looks at the colonial photo collections of families in the Italian province of Bolzano/Bozen, whose (grand)fathers' generation participated in the fascist colonial war against the Empire of Ethiopia (1935–1941). Markus Wurzer examines the "social lives" of colonial images, i.e. how and for what purpose they were (re-)produced, used, and passed on through generations by soldiers and their families.