Hidden Calabria is a long-term documentary photography project that began in 2012 with the aim of preserving the traditions and popular culture of the southern region of Italy: Calabria. This land is home to a diverse range of traditions, many of which are unacknowledged.
One example is the tradition of the “Fires of Saint Lucia” in Crotone, where pyramid structures are built in every neighborhood of the city and then set ablaze on the night of December 13th in honor of the saint. Throughout the year, there are numerous celebrations and traditions dedicated to the saints and patrons. Another example is the “Zigni” procession in Verbicaro, where torches made of trunks are carried through the streets as a gesture of gratitude, with physical effort, to honor the Mary Most Holy of Graces. Not least are the peasant traditions in rural areas, such as the slaughter of pigs continue to provide “sustenance” for families and entire inland villages during the new year. The goal is to preserve the memory of what is gradually disappearing due to depopulation and to introduce the world to this exceptional, rugged, and unique region.
About Francesco Gentile
Francesco Gentile was born in Crotone, Italy, in October 1988. After completing his studies as a surveyor, he decided to pursue other paths. The strong desire to break free from his previous studies led him to forge his own path in art. Initially, in adolescence, he was part of a local metal band, and subsequently, from 2010 until today, he has been practicing photography. He began his career as a documentary photographer after participating in workshops with world-renowned photographers such as Francesco Cito, Valerio Bispuri and Jérôme Sessini. He is currently focused on documenting the traditions of his native region, Calabria. [Official Website]