Introduction

Terra Nostra is a long-term personal project on Sicily’s unresolved co-existence with Mafia. 

As a Sicilian, Mimi looked at the complexities of a region pervaded by lawlessness and scarred by illegitimate urban speculation. Cosa Nostra infiltrated local administrations and served itself and the underworld by managing local politics, fix public tenders, and more often than not, ruled undisturbed. 

The resulting numbness of a large portion of civil society has contributed to Sicily’s characterising stillness, despite the heroic efforts of judges, journalists activists and even some politicians, fighting against the Mafia phenomenon. 

Between 2009 and 2016, Mollica made several trips to the island; looked at the architecture, people, routines and landscapes and captured the signs of the problematic entanglement with the mob and the legacy of Mafia imprint in Sicily. 

“As both a native and an exile, Mollica’s visual narrative is a complex negotiation of his homeland and its singular place in our collective imagination. His photographs are often formally austere and his approach oblique rather than direct.” 

Sean O’Hagan

Mimi Mollica is a documentary photographer based in London, and Terra Nostra was presented during Slideluck Gazebook Festival.

The long term project will be soon exhibited at the Printspace in London, and the author has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to produce the book, published by Dewi Lewis. To find out more and support Terra Nostra, have a look at the campaign page.

Interview

a. What program was used to create the multimedia?

I have used iMovie, the only program I can use and that I own. I’m self-taught and didn’t rely on anyone else but me for conceiving, shooting, directing and editing my multimedia.

b. How and why did you choose that sound/music?

I made an extensive research on the type of music and audio tracks I wanted to use and I decided to use a mixture of licensed music and audio recorded on field with my iPhone with a small Rode mic.

My aim was to offer a feel of the place by adding “local” audio and songs recorded on the streets but I also felt the need to create and drive different atmospheres at different paces throughout the 5 minutes show. I wanted to create a rhythm with pauses and accents.

c. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia.

I first shove everything I’ve got on the timeline with only a very rough and vague idea of what I would like to end up with. Then I worked on the negative process of subtracting material. A bit like a sculptor trying to reveal what lies underneath the raw material. Then, of course I watched the clips over and over again, I did show it to family, colleagues and friends who offered their invaluable views; so then I select the opinions that matched my goals. As for a good wine I left the multimedia rest and season over several nights, while I opened myself to wisdom and serendipity (here you’re supposed to laugh).  I got back several times, I modified the things that do not entirely convinced me. 

I delete and added; I modified and I adjusted, back and forth, between a youtube tutorial and another, until I was completely satisfied.

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Mimi Mollica | Terra Nostra

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