La Favorita (ongoing)

The horizon is in the simple gesture of raising your gaze and seeking the infinite straight ahead; that's when you see it, whether it's there or not. And sometimes during our walk, I want you to do that!

I recall from childhood my grandfather's words of advice, on one of those routine afternoon strolls in Beit-Mery, Lebanon.

La Favorita is a 400 hectares managed as Natural Reserve under Monte Pellegrino; inside there are: Palazzina Cinese, the Ethnographic Museum G. Pitre, Villa Niscemi, Race course, Roma camp, football stadium, municipality warehouses, World War II derelict military check points and other sports facilities. It was born as a hunting reserve for the aristocracy in the 17th century and for agricultural experiments with large crops of citrus, olive, ash, walnut and sumac...
A large part today is a semi-abandoned park, a joggers' & bikers' playground, a hares' kingdom, a picnic- nickers refuge & a prostitutes' working place.

In La Favorita, during the years I was hosted in Sicily (2005-2017), those portraits are the fruit of walks with some of the people I encountered there or just travelled to the island.
Through their gaze, I try to draw the line separating the sky from the sea: the horizon.
The rest of the images are collected notes of a candid botanist in the largest green area of Palermo.
All punctuate the melancholic geography of my wanderings & migrations and like Pollicino they all trail my way back to an impossible return home.

La Favorita is also a microcosm where Sicily & the Mediterranean are conveyed as a metaphor of the attachment of Sicilians to their territory but in the same time as their impulse to migrate and carry for luggage ruins & roots.