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Melania Messina


Rosalia between heaven and earth

The images in the series are part of a project that I began in the early nineties and concerns the cult of Rosalia, patron saint of the city of Palermo. I was born and live in Palermo, a city with which I continue to have a difficult relationship in between love and hate, where people learn to live and survive among a thousand contradictions. Traditionally without any rights awareness, with a strong Mafia presence, it doesn’t seem a coincidence that the future grammatical form is absent in the Sicilian dialect, as almost to understate the difficulty of planning for the future. In this context, the cult of Rosalia emerges, upon whom one can entrust hope, a sort of mother goddess, who can compensate for the absences of an organized social structure, of a functioning health care, of a job that seems miraculous to find. A saint woman but also a pop icon. n my ongoing work on the various aspects of her cult, between myth and religion, I try to find a key to understand the city’s deep soul.

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