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LA STAMPA

Ferdinando Scianna, A Photographic Homecoming In Sicily

From portraits of world famous authors to pulsating religious rites in his hometown, Sicilian photographer Ferdinando Scianna has an expansive body of work. A major retrospective is on display now in two locations in Palermo.

Locals in Scianna's hometown of Bagheria (Ferdinando Scianna)
Locals in Scianna's hometown of Bagheria (Ferdinando Scianna)
Manuela Gandini

PALERMO - The straight line that leads from the sea to the central heart of Palermo is called Corso Vittorio Emanuele. And right now, along this picturesque avenue full of shops of souvenirs and miniature saints, rows of banners flutter in the air to celebrate the Sicilian photography master Ferdinando Scianna.

The photographer is back on his native island with a double exhibition, "Ferdinando Scianna e la Sicilia, da Porta a Porta", curated by Doretta and Laura Landino. Some 70 images of Sicily are displayed inside two spaces, the Loggiato San Bartolomeo and the Oratorio S.S. Elena e Costantino, at the opposite ends of the sprawling avenue, at Porta Nuova and Porta Felice (two of the thirteen doors of the ancient fortified wall).

We spoke with Scianna, 68, who is as well known as a chronicler of everyday Sicilian life, as he is as a globetrotting photojournalist for the Magnum agency.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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