“Why is now the time for a reconsideration of homeland?”, is Vittorio Emanuele Parsi’s
opening question in this pamphlet.
The answer, he says, is right under our noses in Italian political discourse, in which the term
‘fatherland’ often ends up being used for a purpose contrary to its original meaning: not to
unite, but to divide. This is even more evident in the global arena, where we instead see that
the idea of homeland – far from being a worn and ambiguous concept – can represent a
formidable intensifier of energy, generosity and spirit of sacrifice, capable of creating a sense
of identity which is the only possible starting point for opening up to others without fear of
being invaded and distorted by them. Whether we are talking about nationalism, migration
flows or other issues that shift the global geopolitical situation, we cannot avoid reflecting on
Parsi delves into our past, from Italian Unification to the “death of the fascist Fatherland”, up
to Operation Clean Hands and the present, in which the words of the national anthem become
the name of one of the parties represented in Parliament. And he proposes a Copernican
revolution in our way of perceiving the Fatherland, or better, the Motherland, to begin again
from its inclusive, loving and protective nature.
The war in Ukraine continues to reveal, in the most obvious way, the two opposing
declinations of the concept of homeland. Globalisation and our sense of European belonging
ask us to take part in a decisive process with awareness of our roots and identity, and the
frayed bond between us and our institutions needs new life to overcome the economic,
cultural and political challenges of the 21 st century.
This passionate essay helps us to dismantle rhetoric and overcome our prejudices in order to
realise our love of country in the most intelligent, open and constructive way.