Angelica Pesarini

Black Mothers, White Children: Expressions of Subaltern Identities in Fascist East Africa

In this paper, I explore the fragility and internal contradictions of the discourse on love and intimacy in colonial and fascist East Africa. Despite the urge felt by the Italian colonial government to formalise racial, physical and bodily borders, the “ethnosexual frontiers” were constantly transgressed by social actors inhabiting the colony, as demonstrated by the presence of interracial households and  “mixed race” offspring, especially during the racial law period (1937-1940). The analysis will shed light on the interstitial spaces of colonial boundaries and the grey areas in which emotions were embedded in a complex system of negotiations located at the core of the discourse on race, gender and Nation.