- These photographs address the condition of Africans migrants in the Mediterranean through the historical figure of Benedict the Moor, or Binidittu, a 16th century Afro-Sicilian friar who became the first black saint in history
Saint Benedict the Moor, or Binidittu as the Sicilians fondly rechristened him, was an Afro-Sicilian hermit friar, the son of African slaves born in Sicily in the 16th century. Canonized in 1807, he was the Catholic Church’s first Black saint and was made Patron Saint of Palermo. These photographs address the lives of African migrants in the Mediterranean today through the historical figure of Binidittu. This project retraces his improbable life, explores the historical sites of his hagiography, the worship of relics, and the religious and secular practices devoted to him in Sicily and elsewhere in the Mediterranean. This book is part of Lo Calzo’s long-term photographic project, Cham, about the living memories of colonial slavery and anti-slavery struggles.
“Binidittu emerges in this work as an allegory of our time: an encounter between the Mare Nostrum and the world, between oblivion and memory, between racism made commonplace and our shared humanity, between the Sicilian people’s aspirations and African migrants’ hopes of freedom and dignity as they drift towards Europe’s shores.” Nicola lo Calzo
Text in English and Italian.
- 12th Oct 2021
- USA & Canada
- 6.4 in x 9.4 in
- 160 Pages
- 93 color