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Terra Nostra, book launch and talk with Mimi Mollica and Sean O' Hagan
Fri 10 February 2017, 19:00 – 21:30 GMT
"Terra Nostra" is a photo essay on the effects of Mafia in Sicily. With his photographs, Mimì Mollica has endevoured to document and capture the permanent scars inflicted by Cosa nostra on the Sicilian territory and the social context, victim and persecutor, of a system strongly rooted on fear and corruption. Born in Sicily, He started shooting Terra Nostra in 2009 and only now, after five years of work He finally found the project to be almost completed. The biggest challenged He had to face was to convey the legacy that Cosa nostra has imposed on the Sicilian people, the coasts permanently destroyed by illegal building speculation, the unsustainable economy resulted by a system based on extortion and corrupted public competitions of a broad capitalist monopoly of the crime families, and that sense of claustrophobic lack of freedom one can sense throughout the territory. During this last five years He came to the realisation that the vague knowledge on the Mafia phenomenon, constructed by Hollywood imagery and stereotypes, has weirdly overpassed reality. This gap has trigger a common deception by stigmatising Sicily as a land where even tourist aren’t safe from the mob. Such creative yet unrealistic attitude has lead the real life Mafiosi to borrow back fragments of identity they lost along the way. Terra Nostra is an endeavour to focus back on the state of things in a place where decades of violence have marked permanently the territory, hoping that one day we’ll find again rightful ownership on our land.
Mimi Mollica is an award winning photographer, born in Palermo - Sicily in 1975. His photo essays deal with social issues and topics related to identity, environment, migration and macroscopic human transitions. Mimi chooses to work on long term projects which allow him to research explore and develop a subject in depth. As a result Mimi had travelled and photographed across the continents working on assignment and on his personal projects.
Mimi collaborates with a number of prestigious magazines and book publishers, including among others; The Guardian Weekend Magazine, FT Weekend Magazine, The NYT Lens blog, Newsweek Japan, Sunday Times Magazine, Internazionale, Granta Magazine, Thames & Hudson and Lars Muller. His work has been featured on a number of exhibitions and festivals of photography across the globe. In early 2015 Mimi founded the Photo Meet, an organisation aimed at celebrating photography through a series of events such as the Offspring Photo Meet which include portfolio reviews, lectures, networking, presentations and much more.
Sean O'Hagan writes about photography for the Guardian and the Observer and is also a general feature writer. He was named interviewer of the year in the British press awards in 2003. He is the winner of the 2011 J Dudley Johnston award from the Royal Photographic Society "for major achievement in the field of photographic criticism" for his writing in the Observer and the Guardian.