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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reimagining Sicily

Italian Americans constituted the fifth largest ancestry group the North American Market. More than 75% of these came from the Southern (Mezzogiorno) Region of Italy. Sicilian Americans are a subset of that group. 

  • There are 26 million individuals of some acknowledged Italian Ancestry in the North American Market (17.5 million in the U.S. alone).
  • There are 70 million Italophiles in the North American Market.
  • There are 100 million potential readers in the North American Market.


The book:
Beauty is the source of the Sicilian imagination, and, for Spano, the “reimagination” of Sicily (a Sicily beyond crime) has been the journey of his life.
Throughout the Mark Spano’s life, when mentioning his Sicilian heritage, “mafia” was the first word he most often heard in response. The general public has only a single reference when it comes to Sicily, and that is crime.
Little has been written for the popular market on the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily. The most invaded place on the planet, the three-sided island’s story rivals both Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas. Sicily is more fascinating and more diverse than so many of the more popular regions in France and other parts of Italy. But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored.
Mount Etna, an active volcano blesses the island with rich soil, abundant minerals and yet another source of turmoil. The fertility of the island is a source of great abundance. Food, family, the land and sea are all central to life in Sicily. These are the component parts of the Sicilian love of beauty. For Sicilians, beauty is the promise that there is love in life when it has so often been absent. Beauty is the source of the Sicilian imagination, and, for Spano, the “reimagination” of Sicily (a Sicily beyond crime) has been the journey of his life.
Through years of study and travel, he has attained the knowledge of a very different Sicily. He has seen the places where Sicilians work, play, pray, love and do battle in a sometimes hostile homeland. By witnessing how Sicilians are capable of the best and worst in humanity, the stark devastation and incomparable beauty of the island itself, Spano has touched upon the great dichotomy that is Sicily. His book will resonate across that gulf.
Writer and filmmaker Mark Spano is of Sicilian heritage. He grew-up in Kansas City, Missouri in an intercity Italian-American neighborhood. Spano is producing a feature documentary entitled “Reimagining Sicily.”

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