THE SICILY OF AN EDITOR, IN STILL IMAGES – Enzo Sellerio, neorealist photographer and poet of disenchantment

A concrete commitment, as part of the Sicilian reality after World War II.

Among his publications are books about traditional Sicilian artifacts. His black-and-white photographs depicted public aspects of Sicilian life. There is the world seen from Sicily in his photographic shots, where he captured the wonderful images of the small streets of Palermo, where the children of Kalsa with the gun received as a gift for the feast of the dead. Born in 1924 in Palermo, Enzo Sellerio studied law and became a full-time photographer in the early 1950s. In the mid-1960s, he was freelancing in the United States for Vogue and Fortune magazines, and then he moved toward publishing.

Having photographed by choice right in the island, for many years Enzo Sellerio had been the eye of Sicily, where he died in Palermo on a day in February 2012. In 1955, he made his first reportage – Borgo di Dio – a masterpiece of Italian photographic neorealism. Five years later his creative vein produced the portrait of the city of Palermo, but only two years later, he established himself in the international photographic panorama, with The Countries of Etna.

With his photographs, he gave us the memory of the Belice earthquake, of the men in the square in Gela and of the statue of the Madonna that in Belmonte Mezzagno was carried on the shoulders for the Good Friday procession. Leaving us an artistic and cultural legacy of great intellectual depth, inspired by a writer and an anthropologist, in 1969 Enzo Sellerio founded the publishing house of the same name. One of his monographs with an anthological collection of Sicilian shots (Enzo Sellerio photographer in Sicily), could certainly help preserve the memory of this man so creative, together with that of the island he loved so much.

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