Forgiving the factory: the trial of Marghera and the memory of twentieth-century industrialization


1 May 2013


Volume 1 – Number 3

How to cite

Laura Cerasi



This article deals with the importance of memory for the study of de- industrialization and its consequences, focusing on the industrial site of Porto Marghera, the area surrounding the historical city of Venice, which can be acknowledged as a representative of those large-scale sites of heavy industry whose rise and subsequent decline has marked the history of Italian “Fordism”. By giving attention to the spatial dimension of memory and representation, this contribution points out the controversial relationship between the factory and the city that has emerged as a key feature of twentieth-century modernization in the Venetian area, triggered by an important trial held against the management of the main factory of the area. Eventually, it is argued that this “criminalization” of twentieth-century industrial history bears a profound analogy with the pattern of collective remembrance of war.


De-industrialization, Porto Marghera, Memory and representation