EX-PA is a photography portrait project celebrating the achievements of Palermitans who base their life and career in London.
Like many other immigrants in the UK most of these people have had to build a new life from scratch when they moved to London to chase their dream job or simply to start a new chapter. Palermitans are very connected to their motherland, the change of scenery and especially weather is usually a shock but most of us find the challenge of living in this big city an exciting way to prove to ourselves that we can reach bigger goals in our jobs and personal growth.
Being Sicilian and from Palermo, even if living abroad, is part our identity and it will always link us to the community anywhere we are. This connection is tangible and real even when you meet a fellow Palermitan for the first time. There’s a strong sense of social identity that links us and therefore makes us automatically friends when we realise we share the same background and belong to the same culture.
Personally I now have more Palermitan friends in London than back in Palermo; we’ve created a small expat community that keeps expanding every time we meet a new Palermitan.
Most of us share a similar experience and are here to keep growing, helping and collaborating with each other when we have the chance.
Post Brexit this could be the last generation of Palermitans who were able to move to UK to chase a dream without a career plan and/or a job to allow them to move but we hope our community will keep growing in the future.
After all these years in London I’ve felt the need to praise our community and recognise how strong and resilient these friends have been so far. I hope this will be an ongoing project in the future in order to add some more portraits of the new Palermitans I’ll meet in London.