Curated by: Luca Santese
They often come from the sea, swollen with pain, and end up on the road. Tens of thousands of girls that an elusive Voodoo “spirit” binds forever to their exploiters: it seems absurd that in the middle of the Third Millennium, an ancestral rite can destroy lives. Because ORIRI, which in the Bini language means "spirits, nightmares", is a perverse journey that arises from misery and ignorance, but which becomes evil in the so-called Westernized world. Photographer Francesco Bellina has collected the traces of ORIRI, stitched them together and returned to where it all began, in Nigeria. His work began in 2016 and went on for four years: the photographic exhibition that opens next Saturday (June 26) at 5 pm in Palermo, at Palazzo Sant'Elia - which hosts it until October 23 - is the story of a project that has become something more, a denunciation, a scream, a caress, perhaps even a desire for rebirth. ORIRI, curated by Luca Santese (photographer from Monza, founder of Cesura), contains strong images, important but strangely “beautiful” shots, which lead us to think without judging, without looking for a retro thought in this absolutely useless, unnecessary moment. The photographic exhibition was built between 2016 and 2020 thanks to the support of the Municipality of Palermo, the Sant’Elia Foundation, the Sicily Foundation and Arci Porco Rosso.
“Palermo has always been welcoming, integration, the future - says Mayor Leoluca Orlando -; the work of Francesco Bellina reconnects threads that start from afar but reach us. The exhibition in Sant'Elia is part of a multifaceted project on Africa that passes through traditions, customs, jewels, painting but also the story of terrible realities to be condemned. And Palermo condemns in a spirit of solidarity with the victims and welcomes in a spirit of fraternity, freedom and equality. And welcomes ".