“Profit is organised crime’s raison d’être. Seeking it is the solution, but finding it is the real issue”. (Pietro Grasso, former national anti-Mafia prosecutor)

from fri 10 may 2019
to mon 03 june 2019
from h 10.30 to h 12.30
from h 16.30 to h 19.30
Complesso del Casale
Via Casale Matera MT

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The Sea is Us

“Profit is organised crime’s raison d’être. Seeking it is the solution, but  finding it is the real issue”.

                                                           (Pietro Grasso, former national anti-Mafia prosecutor)

Attacking assets represents the most effective means to fight Mafia organizations. The project named The Sea is Us developed from this, from the assets seized or confiscated  from those organisations to investigate its roots, their view of the world and the connective tissue tying them to the life of an ordinary citizen.

This project follows money.

Up until the years of Falcone and Borsellino, Cosa Nostra’s affairs fell entirely within traditional criminal activities; from Provenzano on the Mafia entrepreneurial management has changed, it has become more modern, almost pacific. A state of ostensible calm has made this danger become far more invasive causing devastating damage. The new Mafia property includes building yards, seized hospitals, homes, restaurant chains, renewable energy, arts, online gambling and reaches into the ordinary daily sectors. Such a chamaleonic strategy  adapting to social, economic and technological developments, necessarily required adjusting to new investigation techniques.

Follow the money they used to say overseas. Money traces during the ‘30s led the US to arrest the boss Al Capone for tax evasion. But arresting is only a quick fix,and does not undermine the core of the organisation: its assets. That is why the Italian State started its war against the Mafia through confiscation of all its property and assets gained through diverse criminal activities. The Law 109/96 (the Law on the social re-use of the assets confiscated  from the Mafia) authorizes confiscation of properties gained through illegal activities  to be used for civil society. What the Mafia has taken away from the State returns to the State through a kind of  ethical cycle. Today the Italian Agency for Seized Assets controls over 13,000 properties worth over 40 Billion Euros. However, nearly 3,000 are in an extremely critical state, many have a mortgage on them and the new owners often find it difficult to relaunch their business.


We folllowed the Mafia’s money for several years.Their seized or confiscated assets. Reused or abandoned. The chosen frames are close to turn them into metaphors, to claim their beauty in the terrible chaos of the story they tell us and because we want to start from the detail. We want to analyse it, decompose it, put it close to a thousand other details. And then move away looking for an overall view to better understand the nature of everything. The used images embrace a plurality of languages: from photojournalism to forensic photography, from landscape to still life photography. The project is based on a deliberate mixing of past and present, reality and fiction and the use of writing. A sort of visual dossier of crime where every piece works as a starting point and a clue for the solution, although partial, of the puzzle. 

Fighting the Mafia is like fighting a sick part of our own body, because its true strength is not in the armed army, but in consensus, in that  devious capacity of transforming the needs of society into promises and making it believe that everything is in its right and perfect place.


Photos by Massimo Mastrorillo

Texts by Pamela Piscicelli

Concept by Massimo Mastrorillo and Pamela Piscicelli/D.O.O.R.

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Fri 10 May 2019 Sat 11 May 2019 Sun 12 May 2019 Mon 13 May 2019 Tue 14 May 2019 Wed 15 May 2019 Thu 16 May 2019 Fri 17 May 2019 Sat 18 May 2019 Sun 19 May 2019 Mon 20 May 2019 Tue 21 May 2019 Wed 22 May 2019 Thu 23 May 2019 Fri 24 May 2019 Sat 25 May 2019 Sun 26 May 2019 Mon 27 May 2019 Tue 28 May 2019 Wed 29 May 2019 Thu 30 May 2019 Fri 31 May 2019 Sat 01 June 2019 Sun 02 June 2019 Mon 03 June 2019
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