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This is the adolescence of Peppe, Ciccio, Gabriele, Lemuel, Mario, Giancarlo, Giosuè, Samuel, Zira and Shanti growing up in Misterbianco, Sicily just near my hometown.
I met them during summer of 2011 when they were between 11 and 13 years old and since that day I started documenting their lives.

The name of the project comes from a place in my hometown known by a few as Testa ro Liuni (Head of the Lion). It's one of the highest cliffs along the city coastline created by lava from Mount Etna during one of the ancient eruptions that covered the Sicilian city of Catania, Italy. It's also the place where the kids from the suburbs go to jump from the rock that reminds them of the animal that will either frighten them or give them the guts to dive into the sea. Those who climb up the rocky lion and refuse to jump will be considered by the other kids nothing but scum.

Please CONTACT ME if you would like to find out more about the project.

 

THE DUMMY
I edit all my projects in my editing room. I really believe it is very important to work with printed images for many reasons. As you can see from the picture below there's a cat with me. She is Zira, the cat I received from Samuel and Shanti both part of this project.
During late 2016 I started getting interested in book binding. At first I studied it by myself, then I travelled through Italy, especially in Veneto to improve my techniques. Veneto has an historic tradition connected to printing and binding.
In the past six years I made five different dummies of this project.

 

DUMMY N. 1
I made it in 2012, with my home printer. At the time I though Head of the Lion was going to become a zine about skateboarding in Sicily. Size: 10,5 x 13,5 cm

 

DUMMY N. 2
I made it in 2015 with the help of Teun Van Der Heijden during a workshop he did in Rome. It was the first time I went through all the pictures of the project. In that occasion Teun found the name for my project, Head of the Lion.
Thanks Kazuma Obara for showing me how to bind a book for the first time.

 

DUMMY N. 3
During February 2017 Gregory Halpern nominated me for Mack First Book Award, that's when I made the dummy N.3.

 

DUMMY N. 4 and N.5
I made them in May and September 2017. 

 

OTHER BINDING/DESIGN EXPERIMENTS

 

ABOUT ME
I was born in Catania, Sicily (Italy) in 1986. I've always been divided between art and science as one of my parents is a doctor and the other a painter. I am a documentary photographer and medical student and my projects are focused on adolescence, skateboarders and youth related social issues. I'm keen on film cameras, skateboarding and book binding.
Find out more about me and my works HERE

 

HEAD OF THE LION ARCHIVE
If you have the access key CLICK HERE