The Edinburgh People’s Festival has secured funding for a major conference commemorating the life and work of the influential Italian philosopher and anti-fascist Antonio Gramsci.
People’s Festival spokesman Colin Fox welcomed support from The Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust for the seminar which will take place in The Grassmarket Centre, Candlemaker’s Row on Saturday April 29th by posing the question
‘Who was Antonio Gramsci and why on earth would the Edinburgh People’s Festival wish to mark the anniversary of an obscure Italian philosopher 80 years after his death?
“Capitalist states maintain their rule as much through cultural conditioning as through economic subjugation or coercion”
The People’s Festival intends to answer both questions on Saturday April 29th by pointing out that Gramsci is today considered by some to be the most influential Left-wing thinker Europe has produced since Marx. His ideas on politics and culture are studied by sociology and politics students the world over. Many believe his conclusions are more relevant now than they were when he developed them in Mussolini’s prisons in the 1930’s. In jailing him Mussolini promised to ‘stop this brain from functioning for twenty years.’ But he failed. Gramsci’s famous ‘Prison Notebooks’ testify to that.
‘Our conference will show how Gramsci’s central thesis, that capitalist states maintain their rule as much through cultural conditioning as through economic subjugation or coercion, is as controversial today as ever it was.
‘The Edinburgh People’s Festival, itself a product of Gramsci’s conclusions, is delighted to present a panel of international experts for our seminar – whom we will announce in the next few weeks – including the curator of the Antonio Gramsci Museum in Ghilarza, Sardinia’.