Selected Works

A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.


Out of Palermo

402 immigrants arrived Lampedusa yesterday

October 7, 2015

Tags: immigrants, syria, sicily, lampedusa, safe, Europe, strait of sicily, women, children

Last night 402 immigrants arrived at Lampedusa, a Sicilian island, the part of Europe closest to north Africa, aboard a the Coast Guard boat which rescued them. They were Somalis, Eritreans, and Syrians.

A raft to save them

October 7, 2015

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy

A group of young German utopians on Sunday moored a rescue platform for migrants off the Sicilian coast. They designed it, built it and financed it with crowdfunding. A delegation from the collective Zentrum für Politische Schönheit literally Center for Political Beauty- left the port of Licata shortly after dawn and at (more…)

717 african immigrants saved

October 5, 2015

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

lost at sea
The Italian Coast Guard ship Dattilo saved 717 African immigrants on two different rickety boats overnight 50 miles off the Libyan coast.

This photo moved people; the one below did not.

October 3, 2015

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

The Syrian boy
The same thing had been happening for a decade to African immigrants. But they are black.

2 years ago this photo didn't move people; all the dead were black

October 3, 2015

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy, sail

Two years ago today a migrant boat just a few feet from Europe's shores flipped over when it arrived in the dark and someone lit a shirt on fire to alert authorities and everyone moved to one side of the boat to avoid the flames. Worldwide reaction: shock, then forgetting, moving on. Survivors are (more…)

Rosalia at the Catacombs as she used to be

October 2, 2015

Tags: Rosalia, mummy, palermo, capuchin catacombs, change

The old Rosalia
Here's Rosalia, the star of the Capuchin Catacombs mummies, a two-year-old girl who died in Palermo around 1920 and was mummified and left behind. You can't see her in this configuration any more, nor even get close to her.

Libera is hiding mothers who turn their backs on mafia

September 29, 2015

Tags: protection program, libera, anti-mafia, mothers who rebel, save the children, hide, save, help, Don Luigi Ciotti

The leader of the anti-mafia group "Libera" (which means "Free") today let it be known that for some time his group has been hiding mothers who want to leave the environment of their mafia families so that their children can grow up free to be anyone they want. It is a grass roots protection program for those who are not collaborating with the state and have the witness protection program to save them. For te women, it means leaving their homeland husbands and extended families. It means creating a new law that allows these children to receive new legal names so that wherever they go, they will be safe in school.
Father Luigi Ciotti, president of the non-profit anti-mafia association Libera, said that "so many women, for the love of their children, have decided to rebel against the mafia reasoning, and the reasoning of their own families, saying 'enough' and asking for help. Many are not collaborating with the law, nor are they trial witnesses but they are asking for a hand. We asked politicians to set up a new legal mechanism to open a third way out, because many women are not capable of collaborating. We have reached an agreement but we need to speed up the process." (more…)

Tree biographies

September 28, 2015

Tags: tree, biography, Via Liberta, Palermo, guerilla gardeners

After city authorities felled an historic tree in Piazza Castelnuovo on Via Liberta` to make way for a new subway line, these guerilla gardeners went into action. They researched and wrote up the life story of every tree on Via Liberta`, including its present state of health, and with a knotted string attached each (more…)

fisherman confesses to fishing up WW2 bombs for explosives that killed Falcone

September 28, 2015

Tags: strage, assasination, Capaci, Cosimo D'Amato, fisherman, Giovanni Falcone, Francesca Morvillo

A fisherman already condemned to 30 years in jail for his part in the murder of Giovanni Falcone, wife and body guards, has confessed in court to being the one who procured the explosives for the job from unexploded World War Two bombs he fished up from the bottom of the sea.
Cosimo D'Amato helped (more…)

Luigi sings "Personality" as done by Katerina Valente

September 26, 2015

Tags: luigi, homeless, sings, song, personalita`, shadow Dance, Danza delle Ombre, Scardavi, song, refuge, clinic, together, friends, solace, uplift

Luigi, a homeless man who sleeps at a shelter and spends much of his days at the walk- in clinic, Danza delle Ombre (Shadowdance) run by Doctor Marina Scardavi, near Piazza Politeama. He asked me not to film his face. A woman who also comes daily to the clinic sings along with him until she forgets the words.

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