The large Mediterranean islands are part of a state (and this is not only a political or administrative issue), of a continent and of a sea, in which peoples, cultures and histories from east and west meet and clash. All that has made them distinct one from the other, and, moreover, with great internal differences. Therefore, tracing a picture of their identity is extremely complex, firstly because identity should point out both the common elements and the distinctive ones, secondly because from these elements some borders must be drawn. Identity, then, is built on subjective dimensions and on shared recognitions, and, perhaps, on some objective dimensions. It is undeniable that Sardinia and Sicily are now closer and similar to the continent than they have ever been. They have contributed to build the Italian identity and this one has become part of their identity. But unlike other situations, in these regions an identity of dual type exists, in which different identities are not melted, but coexist. This result, which could be considered a failure from the point of view of the national identity is, on the contrary, a privilege. According to Bhabha (1994), who, like the people of peripheries, lived beforehand the problems of the relationships among different cultural worlds which must cohabit without cancelling each other out, can now face the challenges of cultural pluralism with a better experience than the metropolitan areas. The history that we have told in the paper could have many endings which have not been written, yet. The Italian state has set up a federalist process the result of which is not known at the moment, but that, if it will continue, certainly will modify meaningfully the institutional context in which the two regions move, giving a deeper content to the decentralization, in absence, however, of that compensatory effort that took place in the second postwar period. Europe has widened its own frontiers and this balances the equilibrium of the Union more to the east than before, and the euromediterranean politics show a certain impasse. The same Mediterranean politics of the two islands seem to have a more formal than substantial content (many conferences, many signatures of declarations). Yet the need to compete on an hardened market pushes all, and also our two regions, to underline the theme of their specificity, sometimes evoking promotionally an authentic traditional society, which doesn’t exist anymore. The ability to sell its own identity as a brand on the various products is certainly a component of the actual processes of globalization, but if it is an empty simulacrum which loses its own competitive potentiality, as well. Close to this there is, however, the reinterpretation of identity. Sardinia, and Sicily, at least the literary one, bet on a new declination of identities which can look at the past, but are the product of the totality of the experiences which had been lived and which therefore could not be anything else than plural identities greeting the contaminations deriving from the whole of relationships in which they had been and are immerged.

IDENTITY AND HYBRIDISM IN SARDINIA AND SICILY

PETROSINO, Daniele
2008

Abstract

The large Mediterranean islands are part of a state (and this is not only a political or administrative issue), of a continent and of a sea, in which peoples, cultures and histories from east and west meet and clash. All that has made them distinct one from the other, and, moreover, with great internal differences. Therefore, tracing a picture of their identity is extremely complex, firstly because identity should point out both the common elements and the distinctive ones, secondly because from these elements some borders must be drawn. Identity, then, is built on subjective dimensions and on shared recognitions, and, perhaps, on some objective dimensions. It is undeniable that Sardinia and Sicily are now closer and similar to the continent than they have ever been. They have contributed to build the Italian identity and this one has become part of their identity. But unlike other situations, in these regions an identity of dual type exists, in which different identities are not melted, but coexist. This result, which could be considered a failure from the point of view of the national identity is, on the contrary, a privilege. According to Bhabha (1994), who, like the people of peripheries, lived beforehand the problems of the relationships among different cultural worlds which must cohabit without cancelling each other out, can now face the challenges of cultural pluralism with a better experience than the metropolitan areas. The history that we have told in the paper could have many endings which have not been written, yet. The Italian state has set up a federalist process the result of which is not known at the moment, but that, if it will continue, certainly will modify meaningfully the institutional context in which the two regions move, giving a deeper content to the decentralization, in absence, however, of that compensatory effort that took place in the second postwar period. Europe has widened its own frontiers and this balances the equilibrium of the Union more to the east than before, and the euromediterranean politics show a certain impasse. The same Mediterranean politics of the two islands seem to have a more formal than substantial content (many conferences, many signatures of declarations). Yet the need to compete on an hardened market pushes all, and also our two regions, to underline the theme of their specificity, sometimes evoking promotionally an authentic traditional society, which doesn’t exist anymore. The ability to sell its own identity as a brand on the various products is certainly a component of the actual processes of globalization, but if it is an empty simulacrum which loses its own competitive potentiality, as well. Close to this there is, however, the reinterpretation of identity. Sardinia, and Sicily, at least the literary one, bet on a new declination of identities which can look at the past, but are the product of the totality of the experiences which had been lived and which therefore could not be anything else than plural identities greeting the contaminations deriving from the whole of relationships in which they had been and are immerged.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/20133
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