Palermo, Sicily is often referred to as the "world's most conquered city," having been claimed by the Phoenicians (who called it Zyz), Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, and Spaniards among others over 3,000 years. In the last ten years, it has been undergoing a process of "revitalization," in which buildings are being renovated, the city center cleaned up, and public squares rebuilt. Millions of tourists come to Palermo's centro storico each year to see what UNESCO has designated part of World Heritage. But tourists are not the only travelers to Palermo, and the mixture of people and culture is as much a part of its present as its past.
In Zyz, Felicity Palma examines some of the tensions that make Palermo what it is. Through film photography and short video work captured in and around Palermo's centro storico, Palma invites viewers to see this place from multiple points of view. Focusing on the interplay of the famed old city and the many people who populate it now, her work offers viewers a space to examine the boundaries between historical and current, migrant and tourist, us and them.