Francesco D’Alonzo takes us on a dive through Vucciria and Ballarò Market in Palermo, Sicily, Italy.
Francesco, please tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born in 1981 in Pescara, a town in the center of Italy, 200km from Rome. I studied environmental economics and I was instantly passionate about nature photography and landscape. I expanded my knowledge of photography over the years, following various courses around Italy, especially for reportage and street, but a major role in my growth from a photographic point of view has been given by the study and analysis of work by great photographers.
How did you get into Street photography and why do you like this specific genre?
The love for street photography has slowly bumped into me because it has become an inner need to dig deeper into the world around us, putting the humans and the lives of people in the center. I love going down the street to see what happens with my eyes. I love this photographic genre because it allows me to analyze moments of everyday life that l would otherwise not be able to see and understand to the fullest.
Let’s dive into your photo series. Why did you choose Palermo and in particular the Vucciria and Ballarò market for you series?
l chose Palermo because it is a city completely different from the classic Italian cities. lt is a city that lives in its own light, a city of contrasts and excellence, but unfortunately most of the times the excellences are negative; mafia and crime.
The historic markets of Vucciria and Ballarò represent best the atmosphere that breathes and which distinguishes the Sicilian city from others. In these neighborhoods the genuineness, spontaneity and warmth of Sicilian people, the tradition of the sea and hospitality are expressed and manifested.
What stories and situations did you encounter during your shoot? Maybe something you didn’t capture with your camera?
During my stay in the city, the richness and variety of situations I encountered were so great, but l wanted to give a very precise cut to my work. I tried to give importance to all those “actors” who make every day throughout their lives special. The slim little lady behind her stove selling olives, the fisherman who since the early dawn sells delicious fresh fish cuisine, flooding the entire market with smells and flavors.
l’ve been trying to capture the gestures, actions, and feelings that all those major actors do. Surely, many things have escaped me, perhaps l voluntarily neglected them, were too focused on the people.
What are your future plans or projects in Street Photography?
There are many projects that will soon be born. Now my work focuses on the analysis of the relationship between people and the urban environment. This work that has been going on for about 6 months now is in my city of Pescara. I have decided against my usual style of working only on color photos. Other projects are being studied, but they will always have a reference point to human beings.