The Southern Italian initiative known as CompraSud (literally: “Buy South”) is a complex, heterogeneous, and contradictory heading that comprises social media campaigns, activist movements, small-scale start-up initiatives, and street petitions. The principal aim of CompraSud is weakening the national hegemony of goods manufactured in the Northern Italy. As part of their activities, the various CompraSud agendas promote boycotts of Northern goods that have become widespread in all Italian regions, such as the traditional Christmas loaf known as panettone. Importantly, various CompraSud groups make an effort to provide rational justification and intellectual authority for their actions by citing a range of academic works. In this article, I work my way through the intricate web of discursive trappings inherent to the complex body of textual materials associated with CompraSud agendas, in order to identify the specific geopolitical and economic visions implied in the initiative. Drawing upon Joseph Pugliese’s theory of the Italian North/South “border” as a racialized geopolitical axis, I try to decipher the decolonial implications of CompraSud, also considering the tensions produced within the initiative at national and regional levels. Subsequently, I take account of the conflation between Southern Italy and Africa envisaged by the activists using anti-colonial political discourse by the likes of Patrick Lumumba and Thomas Sankara, which has the effect of appropriating and signifying traditional images of the region produced at the national level. Finally, I consider the frictions (and confusions) between territorial liberation agendas and the promotion of
private local enterprise embedded in the initiative.