Visual Cold War

First broadcast: Mon 06.11.2017, 11.06 Uhr MEZ
Rerun: Wed 15.11.2017, 21.00 Uhr MEZ
A Broadcast in collaboration with: Stefano Pisu

This month we broadcast the recording of the lecture Visual Cold War. The cultural association “Italy-USSR” and Soviet films at the Venice Film Festival by the Italian contemporary historian Stefano Pisu from the University of Cagliari.

Starting from the early 1920s, cinema and international film festivals were the battleground for an ideological struggle between different political visions. The confrontation only increased after the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War. Stefano Pisu (University of Cagliari) explains how 16mm and 35mm film reels sent from the Soviet Union to the cultural association “Italy-USSR” helped to create and disseminate a positive image of socialist modernity in Italy, and why Soviet officials refused to participate in the Venice Film Festival.

The event took place in November 2016 in cooperation with the Italy Center of the University of Innsbruck and within the framework of the research project Image Diplomacy by Vladislav Shapovalov, participant of the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen in 2016–2017.


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Stefano Pisu is a post-doctorate researcher in Contemporary History at the Department of History, Cultural Heritage and Territory of the University of Cagliari (Italy). His research interests are International Film Festivals as a source for the study of contemporary history; cultural diplomacy and international relationships, and cinema, power and society in the USSR from the 1920s to the 1950s. He is author of the monographic publication “Stalin in Venice. USSR at the Venice Film Festival between cultural diplomacy and ideological confrontation. 1932-1953” (Stalin a Venezia. L’Urss alla Mostra del cinema fra diplomazia culturale e scontro ideologico. 1932-1953, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2013) and editor of the volume “War Films. Historical interpretations of war cinema” (War Films. Interpretazioni storiche del cinema di guerra, Quaderno della Società Italiana di Storia Militare, Acies Edizioni, Milano, 2015) for the Italian Society of Military History. Stefano Pisu is a member of the Italian Association of Central and Eastern Europe Studies (AISSECO).