SUCA 01 - The Great SUCA in the Sky


An urban ethnography project

2013-ongoing  |  Editorial, Research

This research project is a photographic collection of written insults, found in the streets of Palermo (my hometown) and around Italy.

SUCA is a typical insult in southern Italy (it means “suck it”). Especially in Palermo, SUCA is everywhere: it is widely used in verbal language and is also written on every wall in sight, aimed at passers-by. Its constant use in popular culture over a long time makes it interesting from an anthropological point of view: “If I ask a local to write something without thinking too much, no matter how, he can have a piece of chalk or an electronic brain, he will have no doubt, because the first thing that comes to his mind is only SUCA.” (Fulvio Abbate, Zero Maggio a Palermo)

The selection, which currently includes over 1,000 photos, shows the spread of SUCA well beyond the traditional limits of the walls, highlighting the creativity of the anonymous writers. In addition to my photos, the collection is enriched by contributions from friends and strangers. You can see all SUCA on Instagram.

SUCA 02 - Palermo
SUCA 03 - Palermo
SUCA 04 - Vendicari
SUCA 05 - Palermo
SUCA 06 - Palermo
SUCA 07 - Milano
SUCA 08 - Palermo
SUCA 09 - Palermo
SUCA 10 - Palermo
SUCA 11 - Palermo
SUCA 12 - Palermo
SUCA 13 - Palermo
SUCA 14 - Termini Imerese
SUCA 15 - Palermo
SUCA 16 - Palermo
SUCA 17 - Bagheria
SUCA 18 - Palermo
SUCA 19 - Palermo
SUCA 20 - Palermo
SUCA 21 - Pantelleria
SUCA 22 - Palermo
SUCA 23 - Palermo
SUCA 24 - Palermo
SUCA 25 - Termini Imerese
SUCA 26 - Palermo
SUCA 27 - Palermo
SUCA 28 - Palermo
SUCA 29 - Palermo
SUCA 30 - Palermo
SUCA 31 - Milano
SUCA 32 - Palermo
SUCA 33 - Milano

Most photos I’ve taken are geo-tagged, so the next natural step of the project, was to build an interactive map, using these info and Google Maps API. The resulting map can be explored at

An interactive map of SUCA
An interactive map of SUCA
An interactive map of SUCA
SUCA 34 - SUCAlendario 2015