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Antimafia Media: Value, Imaginary, and Community in Western Sicily


Antimafia Media: Value, Imaginary, and Community in Western Sicily

Fidotta, Giuseppe (2022) Antimafia Media: Value, Imaginary, and Community in Western Sicily. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Antimafia Media examines the multifarious ways through which the antimafia movement and the local culture industry have fed each other in the last two decades, while also benefiting from and capitalizing on the global popularity of the Sicilian mafia. Grounded on an ethnographic approach, the dissertation demonstrates how the crime syndicate, currently undergoing what is probably the worst crisis in its century-long history, has morphed into a symbolic resource widely mobilized by the local culture industry to attain credibility, legitimacy, and economic gains. By attending to the work of a variety of cultural actors in and out former capital of the mafia Palermo, it maintains that the local culture industry’s re-elaborations of mafia history and mythology enabled the circulation of a politically deleterious imaginary of the syndicate grounded on its cinematic mediations rather than on its actual manifestations. The emergence of this easily accessible and commodified moviemade mafia imaginary underpins the current surge of mafia-themed cultural production, which I chart out in relation to the workings of the film and television, tourism, and cultural heritage industries. Through a wide range of cases ethnographically documented spanning from mafia museums and tourist tours to the making of a TV series belonging to the popular genre of mafia television, Antimafia Media illuminates largely unknown forms of cultural production that nonetheless have a massive impact over Sicily’s social and economic life. Moreover, it explores the ambivalent complicity of the hegemonic faction of the antimafia movement toward mafia-themed cultural production, arguing for a reassessment of the entanglements of activism, social imaginary, media making, and cultural politics in light of the ongoing economic recession and social distress affecting the region

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Fidotta, Giuseppe
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Film and Moving Image Studies
Date:13 June 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Caminati, Luca
ID Code:990946
Deposited By: Giuseppe Fidotta
Deposited On:27 Oct 2022 13:46
Last Modified:27 Oct 2022 13:46
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