The paper analyzes historical re-enactments that characterize Western culture nowadays. The analysis takes place in the centre of Italy, where historical re-enactments have spread since the 1960s throughout the mass culture. With the popular increase in wealth (the economic boom), and the spreading of a new public consciousness based on massive literacy, these new secular ceremonies inspired by the past have replaced the traditional religious activities, that is, Patron Saints’ days, or have aligned with it. The positive characteristics of these new local rituals are: making history accessible to all, and strengthening organizations as “civil society”. In fact, the local organizations for historical re-enactment cooperate through partnerships and lobbying tactics to purchase significant public funding for their local events. The negative characteristics of such ceremonies are: their high cost, the obligation to repeat them (they become rituals), and the exclusion of foreigners. It would be useful to create an inclusive and reflective process on the area, as a result of which citizens would earn to relate to their past with ethical awareness and sustainability, in collaboration with the government and the scientific community. For the ongoing success of this activity, it is not sufficient merely to consult historians to validate the formal accuracy of the event; one should also secure the opinion of the anthropologists on the long-term social perspectives of the event.

Are historical re-enactments a true cultural development?

Lia Giancristofaro
2020

Abstract

The paper analyzes historical re-enactments that characterize Western culture nowadays. The analysis takes place in the centre of Italy, where historical re-enactments have spread since the 1960s throughout the mass culture. With the popular increase in wealth (the economic boom), and the spreading of a new public consciousness based on massive literacy, these new secular ceremonies inspired by the past have replaced the traditional religious activities, that is, Patron Saints’ days, or have aligned with it. The positive characteristics of these new local rituals are: making history accessible to all, and strengthening organizations as “civil society”. In fact, the local organizations for historical re-enactment cooperate through partnerships and lobbying tactics to purchase significant public funding for their local events. The negative characteristics of such ceremonies are: their high cost, the obligation to repeat them (they become rituals), and the exclusion of foreigners. It would be useful to create an inclusive and reflective process on the area, as a result of which citizens would earn to relate to their past with ethical awareness and sustainability, in collaboration with the government and the scientific community. For the ongoing success of this activity, it is not sufficient merely to consult historians to validate the formal accuracy of the event; one should also secure the opinion of the anthropologists on the long-term social perspectives of the event.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/723354
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