Sabbinirica (God bless you)

Workshop in Ragusa with Massimo Siragusa

“Sabbinirica” is an ancient Sicilian greeting that means “May God bless you.”
It is a deeply rooted custom that dates back centuries. In Sicilian culture, it was believed that parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, by virtue of their age and the bonds of love and blood, had the power to bestow a blessing.
This blessing, while not a religious one in the traditional sense, was nonetheless believed to have beneficial effects, calling down divine protection on the recipient.

The photographs in this series were taken during a three-day workshop in Ragusa, Sicily, led by photographer Massimo Siragusa. The workshop was held during the Ragusa Foto Festival, and the participants were tasked with exploring the theme of sacredness in Sicily.

The resulting photographs capture a variety of scenes, from religious rituals to everyday moments. However, they all share a common thread: a sense of the sacredness of life. Whether it is a woman praying in a church, an empty room with the signs of human presence, or the depiction of a crucified Christ, each image conveys a sense of the divine.