La Camisa Negra: Juanes or Mussolini ?
We all heard the famous song from Juanes titled “La Camisa Negra”. It actually is a pretty good song, with very good rhythm. Unfortunately, some countries do not think the same way. The song was actually banned in Italy and in the Dominican Republic. I’m pretty sure you can guess why it was banned in Italy, right? “La Camisa Negra” which translates to “The Black Shirt” in English, was used in Italy in support of neo-fascism. Because of the association of the “black shirt” song title and the Fascist Blackshirts of Benito Mussolini, the italian dictator during the Second World War. Also, many nightclub attendees from the far right political position (those who prone dictatorship and complete State control over the population) would raise their arm in the fascist salute whenever the song was played.
Obviously, in response to this action, the left-wing media network named Indymedia called for a boycott of the song. Nowadays, even if the fascist party is practically disappearing or lacks popularity, there is still a certain presence in certain regions of Italy. After this news, Juanes clearly stated that his song “La Camisa Negra” had nothing to do with fascism nor Mussolini and that the italian people just misinterpreted his song. His song was also banned in the Dominican Republic for its sexual undertones, but it had no political link.
For those who are not really familiar with fascism, here is a brief description. In political science, fascism is a model of government where the State has total control over its population, intervenes in its private lives and pushes nationalism to its maximum. The key is to have a united nation, stong and common. In Italy, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943. His and his fascist party, ” I Fasci di combattimento” used strength and terror to take power and later on walked on Rome to take over the Government. The sad part is that the king, Emanuel III actually saw order and stability in Mussolini, and let him do it. We all know what happened next! I truly believe that when visiting a country, it is important to know all about its government, or its political background, because then you might understand a lot more on certain monuments or pieces of art. For example, did you know that the Notre-Dame de la Défense church, in little Italy Montreal, is the only church in the World that has a painting of Mussolini on it?
How fascinating that a Church has a painting of a dictator who, along with Hitler, ordered the murders of thousands of Jews in Europe. Also, during the twentieth century, authoritarian nationalist movements appeared worldwide: Adolf Hitler’s Nazism in Germany, Peronism in Argentina under General Juan Domingo Perón, Falangism in Spain under Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the Iron Guard in Romania, Integralism in Brazil, Action Française and the Croix-de-Feu in France, the Arrow Cross Party in Hungary, Austrofascism in the Austria of Engelbert Dollfuss, and many more. Read up on the political history when you visit a country, it could be very interesting and make your adventure even better. Have Fun!