“Sicilian Passage is a timeless view into a landscape and its people. Thomas Roma’s eloquent photographs of Sicily are like beautiful poems about a land that he loves.” —Mary Ellen Mark
Sicily: a land of mystery and myth. Inspired by stories told by his mother’s family, famed documentary photographer Thomas Roma left his native Brooklyn for Sicily in search of his roots in 1977. Photographing abroad on a Guggenheim Fellowship, Roma spent months at a time over the next fourteen years traversing the island, challenging himself to connect with a culture and a lifestyle completely foreign to his experience as a New York City street photographer.
In Sicilian Passage, Roma taps into the timeless essence of Europe’s agrarian past. His photographs of the familial homeland are untainted by stereotypical notions of Sicilian culture. Instead of old ladies in black veils gossiping on the stoop, Roma’s images are lyrical odes to the country pastoral. Through his lens, we are transported to another land where nature and the climate have tamed its inhabitants into a slower rhythm: gnarly ancient trees grow haphazardly in the crop fields; marble ruins erupt from the hillsides; shirtless young shepherds tend to their flocks under a ruthless Mediterranean sun. Sicilian Passage is an ode to the mysteries of the timeless in “The Island in the Sea of Light.”
“Tom told me that as a child he used to try to dream of Sicily as he drifted off to sleep. Lying in bed, he’d picture mountains that were higher than the Berkshires he had seen in upstate New York, and a sea that was bluer than it was at the beach at Coney Island. He’d imagine a place where the sun was brighter and where figs grew bigger and sweeter than they did in his grandparent’s backyard in Brooklyn. Sicilian Passage is an attempt to reimagine that dream.” —Anna Roma
Brand: powerHouse Books
Used Book in Good Condition
RedDot_Books - 4344
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I suspect that the 2- and 3-star reviewers were expecting a travel guide photo book, the kind you might purchase at the airport in Palermo to bring home as a memento. This, most definitely, is not that kind of book—it's much more romantic. Clothespins dance about a line anchored into an ancient stucco wall; white blossoms stretch out into the distance until they become grazing sheep; pastoral boys cradling goats and shirtless shepherds watching their flock; the sheltering trees appear ancient, wise, and nearly petrified; all of this scorchingly lit by the mediterranean sun.
With "Sicilian Passage", Mr. Roma is creating a mythical land, full of biblical symbols, rooted in the past. In these pages he reveals his idea of a place that he longed for in childhood dreams. Only at the end of the book, like the final scene from the film Apocalypto, does he suggest the clash of culture which is coming.
Anna Roma provides a touching personal Afterward of her...
True to the elegant and somewhat mysterious body of work by the exceptional Thomas Roma
A lot of pictures that didn't have any palatable continuity to them. I love Sicily and enjoyed most of the pictures, but without captions, descriptions (or even locations) on them I felt like a bit empty. The most entertaining part was the Afterward by Anna Roma.
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