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PHOTO VOGUE FESTIVAL 2020



Francesco Bellina is a photojournalist who has spent the last five years travelling between Africa and Sicily, documenting and investigating migration issues, from the Nigerian mafia in Palermo to the exploitation of immigrants in agricultural work.

Bellina comes back from Nigeria to Palermo on March 9th this year, a date that marks the beginning of the lockdown and forces him to a period of suspension of the work he is carrying out: an investigation into the sexual slavery between Africa and Sicily of Nigerian girls and the link of psychological subjection with voodoo rituals. But Bellina 'got to know Africa in Ballarò', where he lives and the lockdown does not stop him, but rather invites him to a period of research and reflection on the nature of his work and his life choices, leaving his law studies and devote himself to photojournalism. 

 

The new series of works, Nonostante Ballarò will be also presented in an online preview: the series tells the story of two days in September in which the Sardinian designer and artist met the Sicilian photographer - in the place the latter defines home - and lived with him, in a set that is as itinerant as it is alive, open and real. Marras has literally overwhelmed people and things, involving parking attendants and abusive animal farms, the Baratto Market, the car wash, the cleaning lady and the Arci club, used for backstage and fitting. The gesture of dressing and 'posing' become the occasion for a foray into the daily life of the neighborhood between day and night, stereotypes and prejudices, fig trees and rubble, ape car and scooter.

 

Antonio Marras's creations become a pretext, a starting point for a research that unites two worlds separated by sidereal distances, in the perception of the inhabitants of Ballarò themselves, who have not shirked but have welcomed and seized the opportunity to combine: the overwhelming enthusiasm of Marras, his elegance which is not - only - that of fabric or embroidery, but that of the encounter with people and places to get to know and be known, without impositions, without any pre-packaged set for flash use. Bellina does not betray his nature as a reporter and uses a mirrorless Fuji that guarantees agility and improvisation and Marras directs, with his characteristic eclecticism, a staging that is a fashion show, set, fashion campaign, social experiment and document, all in the natural theater of Palermo.

 

 

 

Francesco Bellina (Trapani, 1989), studied Law at Università di Palermo and then turned to Photography. he collaborated, among others, with The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Paris Match, Internazionale. The focus of his work is the political and social analysis of the phenomenon of migrations. From 2017 to 2018 he collaborated with Save The Children and Associazione Zen. He is now working at 'Oriri', a project that investigates the relationships between sex traffics  and voodoo rituals in Benin, Niger, Ghana, Nigeria and Sicily.