The imagery in this collection of photographs is a curated selection of the typographic experiences captured throughout Sicily and her neighboring islands. The signs, scrawls, and messages all work together in demonstrating a narrative of the relationship Sicily has with its various inhabitants and the land that embodies this island of contradiction.
The many ancient invaders of this land, from the Greeks, Romans, Germanic tribes, and the North African Islamic Army, to the Norman mercenaries and the Spanish, have all left an indelible mark on the Sicilian culture and people.
Sicilians are Italian, but the distinction of being Sicilian is carved into its people and land. This individuality is maintained in part by Sicily’s physical separation from the Italian mainland, which lies just across the Strait of Messina, barely two miles at its narrowest point. A bridge could easily be built, but there is not one, although the topic remains controversial. What remains clear, however, is that Sicilians are proud to be set apart. The signs that have been photographed echo that strong historic and uniquely rugged ideals of individualism that Sicily’s people hold onto to define themselves as Sicilians.
The largest of all islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is lush and abundant with lemons, almonds, and pistachios brought to the island by the North Africans. It is also rich with olives, and grapes. The island was a popular trade route and source of fruit, cheese, wine, and salted fish. With all that Sicily had to offer, through the years of multiple invasions by foreigners, as well as today with its vast immigrant population, the island has been infused with cultures that maintain and re-imagine the true meaning of being Sicilian.
This series of photographs shares a range of emotions that together reflect the strong, raw and powerful beauty that tells the story of pride and individualism throughout Sicily.
Adam G. Mignanelli was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and also studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. He received the Type Director’s Club Scholarship and was named a Henry Wolfe Scholar. Adam currently lives and works in New York City as an artist and designer.