I took these in the same area of Catania, one of the largest cities in Sicily.
This is the poorest area of the city and is known for drug dealing. It isn’t dangerous, although everyone insists it is.
The locals are so friendly that everyone calls out ‘occhio’ when they see someone with a camera walking by, which means ‘be careful’.
The drug dealers would say ‘You want to take?’. I would reply ‘A photo?’ and that was the end of that.
But then they tell you to watch out as well. For who – the police?!
While I walked through the tightly packed maze of allies, piazzas and work areas the inhabitants would regularly come up to me and ask to have their photo taken. They were proud of their area, of their own lives, and of their culture.
Families shooting the breeze together wanted to be captured as a unit, old men and women were pleasantly baffled as to what beauty I thought they still possessed, and football mad children thought they would be in the local newspaper’s sports section.
The result is, I hope, a set of photos which show the ever present kindness and frankness of Sicilians.