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Early anarchist periodicals in Tunisia (by Leonardo Bettini, translation)

category north africa | history of anarchism | opinion / analysis author Thursday January 08, 2015 15:25author by Leonardo Bettini Report this post to the editors

English translation of the overview of early Italian-language anarchist periodicals in Tunisia, from Leonardo Bettini, "Bibliografia dell'anarchismo, volume 2, tomo 2: periodici e numeri unici anarchici in lingua italiana pubblicati all'estero (1872-1971)" (CP editrice, Firenze, 1976), translation by Nestor McNab. Via Lucien van der Walt.
Bibliografia dell'anarchismo
Bibliografia dell'anarchismo

“L’Operaio” (The Worker)
Subtitle: Until 7 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 8): Giornale settimanale (Weekly newspaper). From 16 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 9) to 1 Apr. 1888 (a. II, No. 15): no subtitle. From 19 Apr. 1888 (a. II, No. 16): Organo degli Anarchici di Tunisi e di Sicilia (Newspaper of the Anarchists of Tunis and Sicily). From 14 Feb. 1889 (a. III, No. 25): Organo Comunista-Anarchica (Anarchist-Communist Newspaper). From 14 Feb. 1904 (a. IV, No. 2; or perhaps from the previous issue, not traced): Organo Internazionale dei Lavoratori (International Workers’ Newspaper).
Place of publication: Tunis.
Printer: Tipografia Franco-Tunisienne, Ch. Fath, rue des Glacières, Tunis. From 16 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 9): Imp. Internationale (Uzan & Castro), Rue des Glacières 53, Tunis. From 22 Feb. 1888 (a. II, No. 12): Tip. Del Giornale “L’Operaio”, Dribet Ghorbal Sidi Ali Azous 10 (from 8 May 1888 (a. II, No. 17), transferred to Rue du Moufti 10). From 14 Feb. 1904 (a. IV, No. 2; or perhaps from the previous issue, not traced): Tip. Guedj.
Duration: 20 Nov. 1887 (a. I, No. 1) – 20 Mar. 1904 (a. IV, No. 7). Publication interrupted from 14 Apr. 1889 (a. III, No. 26) to Feb 1904 (a. IV, No. 1; not traced).
Numeration is progressive for the first three years (26 issues from 20 Nov. 1887 to 14 Apr. 1889).
Frequency: Weekly (“Every Sunday”. From 16 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 9): “Every Monday”. From 14 Mar. 1888 (a. II, No. 13): “Every Sunday”). From 19 Aug. 1888 (a. II, No. 21): Varies. From 14 Feb. 1904 (a. IV, No. 2; or perhaps from the previous issue, not traced): “Every Sunday”.
Editor: Nicolò Converti.
Director: G. Grassi, redattore resp. From 11 Sep. 1888 (a. II, No. 22): N. Converti, direttore resp.
Format: 38 x 56 cm. From 16 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 9): 34.5 x 46 cm.
Pages: 4.
Columns: 5. From 16 Jan. 1888 (a. II, No. 9): 4.
Typographical notes: In No. 24, a. II, No. 25 and No. 26, a. III (11 Dec. 1888; 14 Feb. And 14 Apr. 1889), the page payout is inverted, with Page 1 in place of page 4; Page 2 in place of Page 1; Page 3 in place of Page 2.
IISG (No. 1 and No. 6 of a. IV are missing from the collection).
Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio, Bologna, Fabbri Archive, No. 92 (contains: a. I, No. 2, 27 Nov. 1887; a. II, No. 14, No. 20 and No. 24, 11 Mar., 25 Jul. and 11 Dec. 1888).

“La Protesta Umana” (The Human Protest)
Subtitle: Rivista di Scienze sociali (Social Sciences Magazine).
Place of publication: Tunis.
Printer: Imp. Picard et, 17-19 rue de Glacières (later: rue Aldjazira), Tunis.
Duration: 9 Feb. 1896 (a. I, No. 1) – 30 Nov. 1896 (a. I, No. 10).
Frequency: Monthly.
Editor: Nicolò Converti.
Director: Nicolò Converti, direttore resp.
Format: 16.5 x 25.5 cm.
Pages: 16 + (4), progressively numbered, for a total of 160 pages.
Price: “Each issue: 25 Cent.”.
Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio, Bologna, Fabbri Archive, No. 275 (No. 2 and No. 4 are missing from the collection).
Theoretical magazine, founded and edited by the Calabrian doctor Nicolò Converti with contributions from some of the most noted libertarian writers of the age.
The magazine included contributions from: A. Hamon (La definizione del delitto, from No. 1 of 9 Feb. to No. 4 of 31 Mar.); a young Luigi Fabbri, then a student at the University of Macerata (Una nota sull’inutilità dei Governi, No. 1 of 9 Feb.; Le transazioni collettivistiche, No. 3 and No. 4 of 16 Apr. and 31 May; Legalitari e autoritari, No. 6 and No. 7 of 31 Jul. and 31 Aug.; Individualismo ed anarchia, No. 8 of 30 Sep.; and a profile of the English poet William Morris, who died in London on 4 October that year and was judged by the author to be “one of the greatest modern poets, undeniably the greatest from England”, in No. 10 of 30 Nov.); by A. Agresti, a popular anarchist writer at the time (but later becoming an interventionist during World War I), who published, inter alia, a study on I poeti della libertà (from No. 4 of 31 May to No. 7 of 31 Aug.) in which he set out to “demonstrate the idea of liberty in certain poets of the modern age – foreign and Italian – and how close this idea of theirs is to our concept of a society without rulers, bosses and priests, to our anarchist dream for the future society”; the advocate Pietro Raveggi (“Evening”), author of a series of articles on questions of a sociological and political-economic nature (Le teorie sociali di F. Lassalle, No. 1 of 9 Feb.; L’Anarchia e il suo sviluppo, No. 2 of 12 Mar.; I criteri economici di Karl Marx, No. 3 of 16 Apr.; La Sociologia Criminale, No. 6 of 31 Jul.; I criteri moderni della sociologia criminale, No. 8 of 30 Sep.; L’antropologia e la frenologia in rapporto alla Sociologia Criminale, No. 10 of 30 Nov.). Lastly, in the first issue there appears a short biographical profile by P. Kropotkin of the Russian revolutionary Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinsky (“Stepniak”), well-known author of Underground Russia , who had died tragically in London in December of the previous year (the piece would later be republished by L. Fabbri in “Il Pensiero” (Bologna), a. IX, No. 11 of 1 Jun. 1911, p. 162-63).
Among the various pieces by Converti himself published in the magazine, we can note the essay Idee generali, which appeared in three successive instalments, starting with the first issue. In this article, the author polemicizes with the German theoreticians of naturalism and, more particularly, with Ernst Haeckel who, in applying Darwin’s theories to social problems and, not infrequently, distorting or misinterpreting his ideas, concluded that “centralization”, i.e. the State, as the brain of the social body, was an eternal, absolute necessity for the organic maintenance of a society. “Instead of the autonomy of the individual and solidarity among men, they saw – everywhere and forever even until the end of time – centralization, the dominion of the strongest, the most gifted; and some of them even sought to demonstrate that the state was ... the brain of the social body ... But all this leads us to reject this centralization, the State; because thought always asserts itself outside and against it; in such a way that the one always achieves its evolution to the detriment of the other; and progress is only a continuous assertion of the human personality to the extent and on condition that the attributes of government diminish”.
Aside from several other theoretical pieces (Anarchismo e riformismo, No. 7 of 31 Aug.; Che cosa è il socialismo, from No. 8 of 30 Sep. to No. 10 of 30 Nov.), Converti was also a signatory, in the fifth issue of the magazine, to a vibrant protest in defence of the anarchists Bergamasco, Fibbi, Melinelli, Palla, Pezzi and Selvi who, having escaped from internment on 28 May that year and landed on the coast of Tunisia “where the freedom of asylum was known to be respected always”, were handed back to the Italian government by France. See Gli evasi di Favignana, No. 5 of 28 Jun.
After the tenth issue, the magazine was forced to suspend publication as a new, restrictive law had been introduced which made it obligatory for publishers of this sort of publication to pay a large deposit. An attempt to re-start the periodical in Italy was made a few months later by L. Fabbri who did manage to publish one more issue, in Macerata on 1 Jun. 1897. But prompt intervention by the tax authorities meant that this new series of the magazine could not continue either.

“Il Vespro Sociale” (The Social Vespers)
Place of publication: Tuni
Printer: Premiati Stabilimenti Grafici L. Soraci, 17 Rue d’Athènes, Tunis.
Duration: 25 Oct. 1924.
Frequency: Single issue.
Editor: Paolo Schicchi.
Director: Paolo Schicchi, redattore responsabile.
Format: 44 x 56 cm.
Pages: 4.
Columns: 6.
Price: “Each issue: 20 Cent. – Abroad, double”.

“Il Vespro Anarchico” (The Anarchist Vespers)
Place of publication: Tunis.

Printer: Tip. Speciale del Vespro Anarchico, Rue d’Athènes, Tunis.
Duration: 8 Nov. 1924 (a. IV, No. 47).
Frequency: “With this issue, the Vespro Anarchico recommences publication, fortnightly first and later, weekly” (see Comunicazioni, p. 4).
Editor: Paolo Schicchi.
Director: Nunzio Ciciriello.
Format: 44 x 56 cm.
Pages: 4.
Columns: 6.
Price: “Each issue: 20 cent. – Abroad, 40 cent.”.

NOTE: English translation of the overview of early Italian-language anarchist periodicals in Tunisia, from Leonardo Bettini, "Bibliografia dell'anarchismo, volume 2, tomo 2: periodici e numeri unici anarchici in lingua italiana pubblicati all'estero (1872-1971)" (CP editrice, Firenze, 1976), translation by Nestor McNab. Via Lucien van der Walt.

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