Transcultural and Transnational Connections in Neapolitan Song during the Colonial Period. Raffaele Viviani’s “‘O tripulino napulitano” (1925) as Case Study


  • Isabella Abbonizio NA



This article analyzes the perception and representation of alterity in Neapolitan song, with a specific
focus on Raffaele Viviani’s “‘O tripulino napulitano” (1925). My interest in this lesser-known work is twofold: first, it attests to the perception of Libyans during fascist colonialism and to the ways in which Italians negotiate their identity through an intimate relationship with North African people; second, it anticipates some elements found in later Neapolitan song production, namely Renato Carosone’s “Tu vuò fa’ l’americano”, “Caravan petrol”, “‘O Pellirossa”, and “Torero”. However, unlike Carosone, Viviani does not limit his macchietta-style portrayal to a list of stereotypes. The lyrics proclaim a shared condition of subalternity with the North Africans unveiling a transcultural approach that emerges in later Neapolitan works starting from the mid-1970s.