Southern questions: “Un mese a Johannesburg” (1984) by Franco Fortini. This paper focuses on Franco Fortini’s stay in South Africa in 1984, during the apartheid regime. As a Visiting Professor at the Witswatersrand University (Johannesburg), Fortini had the opportunity to witness life conditions during apartheid, as well as to analyze the political perspectives raised by the possible demise of the regime. This experience was later recalled by the author in a series of articles, including a written piece, “Un mese a Johannesburg” (“A Month in Johannesburg”), which was found in the archives of the Centro Franco Fortini (Siena) and published only posthumously, in 2005. The critical reading of this piece aims to contribute to the re-definition of the apartheid archives in a transnational context, as well as to the analysis of Fortini’s ethical and political positions. A particular emphasis will be dedicated to the influence of Fortini’s relationship with Antonio Gramsci and Pier Paolo Pasolini on his appraisal of the South African situation.
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