Ubi bene, Ibi Patria

Ubi bene, ibi patria, a quote from the Roman statesman and orator Cicero (106 - 43 BCE), literally translates to “homeland is where it is good,” or, more colloquially, “my home is where life is good.” I took these photographs in Sicily, where I felt very much at home. This body of work is a meditation on the concept of home itself. Both Sicily and its tiny island neighbor Lampedusa are destinations for large numbers of migrants from Africa; these islands are geographically closer to Africa and the Middle East than to mainland Europe. Migration is cyclical: in the late 19th and early 20th century, more than one million Sicilians emigrated to the United States. Most of these emigres left in search of jobs and financial stability, as are some of the African migrants arriving in Sicily today. My work evokes feelings and captures atmosphere; it is not documentary. While this series is not obviously about migration and home, those concepts are undercurrents. One notable aspect is the contrast of scale: mountains loom through the mist, as seen from afar; windows, doors, railings, and the play of light on embroidered curtains provide a view into--and from--the domestic sphere.