Mauro Caruso . Luca Gozzo . Joseph Biais . Felipe Bartolome
Mauro Caruso . Ale . Luca Gozzo . Ludo Azemar
Azzurro is a dream.
Azzurro develops from the grey skies of Berlin and then moves to a Sicilian city born from an impossible idea.
Azzurro was born thanks to an architectural mystery wanted by a visionary governor, who hoped for the rebirth of a territory, destroyed by the forces of nature and man.
Azzurro is the idea of being able to combine skateboarding with a unique Sicilian flow.
Azzurro is the desire to be reborn from its ashes.
The following article appeared in A Skateboarding Annual 3, edited by Carhartt WIP, published in 2017.
Davide Cattaneo, a good skater and a friend of mine from Milan, was at a photo exhibition and saw something about Gibellina. A few weeks later, by coincidence, he saw a show on television about the city. He called me up and told me to go check it out. I had never heard about the place and to this day, many people - even in Sicily - haven´t either.
The city is a four-hours drive from my place and sists in the middle of nowhere. I went in august; I think it was like 45°C. When I arrived the city was empty. Apart from a few elderly people, it was a complete ghost town, except one with huge plazas, monumental sculpture on every corner and this enormous metal installation called Stella, by Pietro Consagra, that´s the entrance to the town. The place felt crazy, surreal. There were some great-lookings spots, too.
I went to check the old town, a 20 kms drive from Gibellina Nuova, after which you end up deeper in the middle of nowhere, in the Valle Del Belice. There you find a sculpture di Alberto Burri, the Grande Cretto, that´s really immense. It´s essentially huge blocks of concrete, built on (and with) the ruins of the city, that drwan a pattern of cracks. It´s a place that is really hard to describe; even with photos you can´t really grasp the whole thing, how big it is. Everytime I go back I´m shocked, and it´s the same with everyone I brought there.
I was so drawn by the vibes of this town; it´s so empty and strange - the monuments and the light, the few spots, and then these old people speaking this typical Sicilian dialect, the mentality. Everything is 100% sicilian, but you are surrounded by modern art and architecture. It´s so confusing… everything was making me go: “Shiiit, I need to do something here”.
I shot photos and went home, and started talking about it with davide and another friend, Ale Formenti. We realized we couldn´t do just a random skateboarding clip, that we had to be more ambitious, show the bigger picture and tell the whole story. So we decided to take our time, find the right people, and so on. A few months later, Davide was on a trip to L.A. and randomly met an old friend from Italy, Lorenzo Fonda, who used to skate and he´s now a director. Afterr seeing some pictures, Lorenzo became super interested in the story and wanted to do a documentary about it. He started his research and we thought: “Ok, this is it, it´s happening, we have our medium”.