Giovanni Bosco learnt about life through the harsh reality of shepherding in 1950s Sicily. He
spent two years in prison after stealing some sheep, and while confined away from the island
he learnt by chance that two of his younger brothers had been assassinated. As a result, he
suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where he was
probably subjected to electroshock therapy. Drawing and painting thus became a totalising
and inescapable occupation for him. His murals can be still found on the main streets of
Castellammare del Golfo.
After a tragic event, Isravele—how he is known in his second life—decided to become a hermit.
He thus left his family and went to live on top of one of the mountains that surround Palermo,
occupying an empty building that he has transformed into a sanctuary dedicated to angels.
Israel belongs to the great tradition of “builders of the imaginary”, spontaneous architects of
their soul’s house. Israel has created suggestive decorations with mosaic and paint on all the
walls of the building.
Gilda Domenica worked as a dressmaker for a lifetime. Today she is 77 years old, she lives
alone in a small house in Caltagirone, where he began a new life. almost without realizing it,
she has become an artist. For several years she realizes clothes, bags and shoes that are
beginning to be considered a veritable artistic expression. Gilda did not stop here. Once
implemented, Gilda wearing her creations and parades through the city of Caltagirone. It is a
veritable artistic performance she does unknowingly.
Giovanni Cammarata was a bricklayer who during the Second World War ended up in a
British internment camp, first on the coast of Turkey and then in Gaza. Whilst there, he
managed to obtain the favours of his captors by building amazing castles of clay. After
returning to Sicily in 1947, he settled with his wife in a poor industrial neighbourhood at the
periphery of Messina. In the following years, he transformed his decrepit home in a palace of
dreams and phantasy. Only poorly conserved portions of the façade and the adjacent
courtyard now remain of the house.
Filippo Bentivegna was into a family of peasants and fishermen, Bentivegna emigrated to the
United States between 1912 and 1913. He came back in 1919 after suffering a head injury
following an aggression for unknown reasons. After buying some land at the base of Mount
Cronio near Sciacca, he created his “magical castle” by sculpting hundreds of stone heads
painted with pink stucco in semicircles, or amassed in pyramids, for the rest of his life.
The term Outsider Art is used to indicate spontaneous and original works of art produced outside the established cultural and art scenes by solitary and eccentric authors, who live at the margins of society either by chance or by choice. It is a distinctive phenomenon of Sicily’s culture, where premodern elements, such as the residual peasant one, live side by side to the postmodern condition, without dissolving into it. It is an unresolved issue. The life histories of these Sicilian outsiders tell of events of uprooting, migration and return, of belonging and its opposite, of a real and subversive fusion between life and art. The impossibility of integration in foreign contexts, and the imbalances of modernization, are possibly behind these spontaneous creations that compose a map of surprising genius loci on the island, no less authentic or significant than those of the official art world. The sites of this outsider art are the open environment, collections and museums, the homes of artists. These sites are found in various parts of Sicily (Palermo, Castellammare, Sciacca, Caltagirone, Messina…). The spontaneous expression of self-taught artists becomes the focus of an itinerant journey that traces the route of Sicily’s outsider art. It will be a journey that will touch all the corners of island, sometimes in completely unexpected ways.
Ruggero Di Maggio, director and producer for documentaries. Graduate in History of cinema at University La Sapienza Rome and in Documentary film direction at ESEC Paris.
Gabriele Gismondi, author, director and editor for promotional videos, reportages and documentaries for Web and TV. Graduated in Audiovisual Techniques at the DAMS (University of Bologna), coauthor of Palermo Documentary Festival (2007) of Palermo, under the patronage of the Province of Palermo. Editor and screenwriter for "The Green Ray" (national campaign for organ donation, 1st prize "Franca Pellini" for Best National Organ Donation spot). From 2006 to 2013 worked as director and editor for audiovideo productions, institutional films for organizations such as Institute of Vine and Wine, Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies, Sicily Transplant Center, Fondazione Teatro Massimo, Palermo Teatro Festival, Set Associated Artists, Sicilian Theatrical Circuit, Mon Amour Film, LED Engeneers, Municipality of Palermo. At present (2013) author and director of short documentaries series for the web and TV: "Sicily unveiled", "Palermo unveiled", "Lampedusa day by day". Collaboration with RUPTLY TV GmbH (Germany), Compass Light (USA), Play your Tuscany (Fondazione Sistema Toscana) and Sicily lapse (Italy).
Tel: +39 347 6465020
CLAC is a cultural enterprise established in 2003 in Palermo. Its aims are the design, organisation, promotion and production of cultural and artistic projects. The idea and motivation behind it are the result of the need to improve the island’s quality of life and the desire to open creative and cultural spaces. This is done by working in an honest and professional manner with local authorities and those enterprises that are interested in supporting cultural activities. For this reason, CLAC considers cultural production as the capacity to operate at different levels and on different, intersecting planes, valuing the complexity of projects and the multiplicity of competencies. CLAC believes that professionalism, respect for the common good, and creativity in the cultural world are the basis of the possible development of the Sicilian territory. We work at the intersection of cultural production, activism and social innovation. We are involved in projects that support a diffused entrepreneurship in the socio-cultural context, in networks that debate and analyse contemporary forms of work, in projects that revalue heritage, in co-participatory activities.
It’s a typical seaside village with an attractive small port, and various cafés and restaurants in the alleys. It owes its name to the arab norman castle, which now has been restored and converted into a museum centre. In the inside can be visited: the Museum of Water and Mills, the Museum of Production, the Archeological Museum and the Museum of Maritime Activities. This small town is used as a strategic point to visit others wonderful seaside resorts as, for example, Scopello and Riserva dello Zingaro.
Palermo, once been part of United Arab Emirates, still carries signs of the role it had over the centuries: that of being a crossroad between East and West. The city, divided between extreme beauty and deep decadence, has a unique atmosphere. Cultural and architectural wealth is endless: copious monumental churches, the Serpotta’s stuccos, the byzantine mosaics of the Palatine Chapel and of the Monreale's cathedral, liberty theaters and buildings, folkloristic markets, Cala’s touristic port, Mondello’s beach, the Botanical Garden, one of the most rich in Europe. These are some of the things that make the city one of the destinations that cannot be missed.
This baroque elegant small town in the province of Catania is famous for its potteries, produced since more than a millennium. The main and most important attraction of the city is the the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte: it leads to the namesake church and it is composed by 142 steps, each adorned with a different hand-painted pottery. This staircase is at the center of the San Giacomo’s appealing celebration, at the end of july, during which it is illuminated by 4000 oil lamps. Must watch the Ceramic Museum, the Pupi’s museum and the Modern Art Museum, which gathers in the inside a large sicilian art brut collection.
It’s the first stop-over for those who come by sea to visit Sicily. Its port is among the first of Italy. The city was almost totally destroyed in 1908 by an earthquake and in 1943 by the bombings. The rebuilding was focused more on safety than appearance; nevertheless the city offers precious monuments, like the Cathedral with its complex astronomic clock. You cannot miss the Regional Museum containing works by Antonello da Messina and Caravaggio, the small village Ganzirri with its small lakes and sea food restaurants, and, in the nearby, the Taormina’s Antique Theater, a touristic jewel of the island.
Its name comes from “xacca”, which is the arabic word for “water”. In fact greeks founded it as a Selinunte’s thermal baths center and still today Sciacca’s hot springs and mud baths, considered among the most efficient in the world, attract more and more researchers and tourists. Apart from thermal baths, you must visit Sciacca for the Mount Cronio, from which sulfurous sources grow, for the clear water of the sea, for the fascinating magical Castle of Filippo Bentivegna, one of the most important sicilian “outsider” artists in the world, and for the famous Carnival floats’ parade.