With an introduction by Erri De Luca
Iʼve always wondered what that big jigsaw was doing on my grandmotherʼs wall among photos of weddings and pictures of saints. My grandfather used to add pieces to it with his seven sons during the long winters on the Island of Ponza.
Once it was finished, the family would undo it and started it all over again. “It was a way to pass the winter”, my father once said. This image has strengthened my sense of belonging to those family tiles. I felt the need to put the pieces back together by looking for cold winters on other islands. I travelled to Capraia, Lampedusa, Linosa, Pantelleria, Procida, San Pietro, Giglio, Eolie, Egadi, Pontine and Tremiti islands. Marettimo, Levanto, Tremiti Islands to tell the stories of these smaller Italian islands; because winter strips these lands of their stereotype of summer paradise and shows a different kind of beauty, made of tales and everyday gestures.
Mine is a map of something near that remains far, a survey on the islander condition. And this condition stands out in the winter season. The stormy sea preventing the ferry from leaving, the tank carrying water to distant cliffs, the men fishing for squids and hunting migratory birds, the only open café on the island, are all little allegories. Every island has its own story which is, in some ways, the same story of any other island.
I was on the island for over a month, experiencing silence and wait, talking about that unpredictable wind, which blows from north west and then, suddenly, turns to east while you are still trying to understand its direction.
Understanding how the sea, seen from the island, reveals itself as a changing reality.