In 2013 alone, over 42,000 migrants braved the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to reach Europe. Many ended up in Sicily and the surrounding islands. Thousands of these people have previously traveled this route and are still continuing to do so up to nowadays.
In "Touch Ground," I photographed beaches, harbours, cliffs—the places where, in recent years, migrants have first reached the shores of Europe from North Africa. The photographs form an exploration of the idea of "Terra Firma", a coveted place, object of hopes, tragedies, happiness, disillusion, and sometimes, death. I chose to make my pictures at night, because it was at these times that the places and the shores appeared full of meaning. Within the darkness and the emptiness, I felt the epic proportions of these migrations and the individual emotions that each journey embodied. These photos are, again, a work on the borders: the borders between land, sea and men. The seascapes depicted are epic and empty yet also “places of the present”, places of contemporary history. They are, at once, the theaters of tragic, life-altering events for those venturing the sea and at the same time, simply “our sea” for the lucky rest of us.
I hope these images can help us remember who didn't make it and help who, strenuously, fleeing their country, is looking for a better life.
Fifty percent (50%) of the incomes linked to the sales of Touch Ground photographs will be given to Médecins Sans Frontières.
To my son Vittorio, wishing him to live in a World without borders.