Sicilia_010 © 2013 Jacob Balzani Lööv. All rights reserved.

Solo. Sole. Sicilia.

I am just back from few days in Sicily and already I have to move to the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. Then to Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro but, this time, for a relaxing trekking.

I went to Sicily to decide if a new project I have in mind might work. I would like to make a photographic project about Mafia. It might sound a bit pretentious for a newcomer in the world of photography to tackle such issue, so I spent these few days, I have to say in a not very environmentally sustainable way, all alone with a Fiat 500, asking myself, “Why I should do it and why me?”. Sicily has a long history in photography, it would be enough to name Ferdinando Scianna, so why me, a photographer from thousand kilometer away? Well, not only, even if I have only an Italian passport my father is Swedish and after my studies I spent most of the time abroad, working as a researcher, where it was possible and it was rewarded.

During the years I realized I feel a true discomfort in being Italian. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, surrounded by culture and history and at the same time I live in one of the places where is harder to live in Europe, especially if you want to live with honesty. Why in Italy it seems impossible to pursue common goals and everybody, and above all politicians, care only about their private interests?

When I arrived in Trapani and I started talking with Rino Giacalone, a brave journalist who writes about Mafia, I immediately realized how ignorant I am on the subject and how I shouldn’t be, because that is the most fertile terrain for Mafia.  I realized how different and folkloristic is the vision foreigners have of the phenomenon and how it really affects the life of individuals and of the whole society in Italy.

In the end I thought that my personal discomfort, together with the responsibility I feel that I never did enough to fight it are enough to justify me for such a project.

More details about the project? I will tell you later.

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