Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Faire des corps avec les images : La contribution visuelle de la velina au charisme de Berlusconi

Abstract : In the late 2000s, the image of the velina – hyper-eroticised soubrette of the Italian television – becomes the symbol of the commodification of the female body and of the female subordination in the public space, characterising Berlusconi’s ventennio. Thanks to the epistemological tools of Visual Studies and to the images of contemporary visual culture, the dissertation aims first to analyse how images build the velina’s body. Her visual genealogy brings together iconic and opposed images of femininity, as the Young Italian fascists, the american Tiller Girls and the heroines of Italian softcore cinema of the seventies. In 1989, the iconography crystallises in the velina’s image, when it emerges in the television program Striscia la notizia (Mediaset, Berlusconi). Through the analysis of a specific case study – the daily practices and micropolitics of Giulia Calcaterra, velina of the 2012-2013 edition -, the dissertation deconstructs the crucial arguments excluding veline from knowledge and politics. The velina is not, as argued by mainstream critique, an alienated, marginal and passive subject of the society of the Spectacle. Rather, from her speech about her own action, she appears as a self-reflexive and intelligent subject, as well as a privileged actress of the aesthetic and cultural industry, on the basis of which Berlusconi has built his political consensus, since the late seventies. The dissertation then focuses on the relationship between the velina’s image and Berlusconi’s image. We analyse images connecting the velina and Berlusconi as a « chief ». Berlusconi’s « charisma » is visually built by himself, by the cultural intermediaries of his political party, the anti-berlusconian press, cinema and other visual productions, in connection to the velina’s image. Taking the example of some key elements of his political propaganda, we can see how it is based on visual practices intertwined to discursive and other political, scientific, technical and social practices aimed at raising in the electorate a « love for domination », through a « domination of love ». If the velina actively contributes to Berlusconi’s « charisma », it is because she has the power to grant him the necessary erotic charge for him to inspire in the public a desire to be dominated.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Francesca Martinez Tagliavia Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, April 17, 2016 - 12:52:02 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:33:58 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 6:16:44 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-01235194, version 1




Francesca Martinez Tagliavia. Faire des corps avec les images : La contribution visuelle de la velina au charisme de Berlusconi. Art et histoire de l'art. EHESS - Paris, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-01235194⟩



Les métriques sont temporairement indisponibles