After spending the first 22 years of his life in Sicily, Ferdinando Scianna became a specialist in the Sicilian way of life and spent many years documenting the culture of the Italian island. But it wasn’t until he studied literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo, that he began photographing the Sicilian people systematically.

Photographers are the readers of the world

Ferdinando Scianna
© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically.

After moving to Milan in 1966 he worked as a photographer then journalist, writing on politics and on photography and literature. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s, producing pioneering work that brought fashion into the streets of his home of Sicily.

Scianna has also explored the subject of religious rituals and photographed across Italy, America and beyond, as well as collaborating with famous writers such as Leonardo Sciascia. He joined Magnum Photos in 1982.

© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

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