The case of Asmara was emblematic. In 1934 Asmara had a population of about 3,500 Italians and 12,000 Africans. In 1939 Italians had risen to 48,000 whilst Africans were 36,000. In just five years the total population had increased fivefold, whilst the proportion between Italians and indigenous people had been reversed. This was an unprecedented phenomenon, determined by the economic importance of the city as a logistic base for the war. Asmara became the financial hub of the new Italian empire, where all major Italian companies had opened branches, as well as the seat of hundreds of new business enterprises born after the conquest of Ethiopia. Social life in Asmara was pulsating just like that of any other European town. During the day the heart of the city throbbed with business, both in the street markets and in the new Italian districts, where the offices of trading and industrial companies could be found. At night, social life moved to the ever expanding number of entertainment and leisure facilities. New dancehalls, restaurants and bars were being opened everywhere. The working men’s clubs and numerous sports and recreational societies, supported by local government and by the PNF, organised the colonists’ free time. In Eritrea, near the strategic hubs where companies and the army had located their logistic bases, new urban agglomerates rose from scratch, such as Dek’emhare and Nefasit, with plenty of restaurants and clubs, patronised by military personnel, workers and by the Italian nouveaux riches who, as Indro Montanelli denounced in his book “XX Battaglione Eritrea” (20th Eritrean Battalion) lived a upper-class lifestyle, which went against the Fascist imperial ethos, thus betraying the ideal purpose of the African wars.

The Eight Vibration. Asmara and Dek'emhare, Cities of Work, Cities of Leisure / Gian Luca podestà. - In: DIACRONIE. STUDI DI STORIA CONTEMPORANEA. - ISSN 2038-0925. - 21(2015), pp. 1-14.

The Eight Vibration. Asmara and Dek'emhare, Cities of Work, Cities of Leisure

PODESTA', Gian Luca
2015

Abstract

The case of Asmara was emblematic. In 1934 Asmara had a population of about 3,500 Italians and 12,000 Africans. In 1939 Italians had risen to 48,000 whilst Africans were 36,000. In just five years the total population had increased fivefold, whilst the proportion between Italians and indigenous people had been reversed. This was an unprecedented phenomenon, determined by the economic importance of the city as a logistic base for the war. Asmara became the financial hub of the new Italian empire, where all major Italian companies had opened branches, as well as the seat of hundreds of new business enterprises born after the conquest of Ethiopia. Social life in Asmara was pulsating just like that of any other European town. During the day the heart of the city throbbed with business, both in the street markets and in the new Italian districts, where the offices of trading and industrial companies could be found. At night, social life moved to the ever expanding number of entertainment and leisure facilities. New dancehalls, restaurants and bars were being opened everywhere. The working men’s clubs and numerous sports and recreational societies, supported by local government and by the PNF, organised the colonists’ free time. In Eritrea, near the strategic hubs where companies and the army had located their logistic bases, new urban agglomerates rose from scratch, such as Dek’emhare and Nefasit, with plenty of restaurants and clubs, patronised by military personnel, workers and by the Italian nouveaux riches who, as Indro Montanelli denounced in his book “XX Battaglione Eritrea” (20th Eritrean Battalion) lived a upper-class lifestyle, which went against the Fascist imperial ethos, thus betraying the ideal purpose of the African wars.
The Eight Vibration. Asmara and Dek'emhare, Cities of Work, Cities of Leisure / Gian Luca podestà. - In: DIACRONIE. STUDI DI STORIA CONTEMPORANEA. - ISSN 2038-0925. - 21(2015), pp. 1-14.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2787235
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact