Public days: 5 - 7 November 2021

Practice for the gymnastics display of Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL)

Arena di Milano, late 1930s
digitized negative
© Archivio Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo

Sport played a fundamental role during the Fascist regime, above all amongst youth, becoming a symbol of national strength and identity. Linking back to Nietzsche’s utopia of the uberman, the Fascist had to embody – among other things – “culture and sport”. Italians practiced physical exercise to gain power, to be used in times of war and peace. The Balilla (Fascist youth) engaged in many group demonstrations, like the one in the photograph, with the aim of impressing the masses and spreading propaganda, also thanks to the final speech delivered by the Duce.

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