A Black Jesus

In Siculiana, a small town in the southern Italian province of Agrigento, the statue of a black Jesus is at the heart of a local tradition. Each year on May 3rd, the statue is carried on the shoulders of chosen devotees in a procession through the town’s crowded streets. On this occasion,hundreds of Siculianesi emigrants return from every part of Italy and abroad to pay homage to their patron saint. When 19-year-old Ghanaian-born Edward, a resident of a controversial refugee center located adjacent to the town, asks to carry the statue in the annual procession and stand with the locals that bear its cart, the community is divided in its response. Can this simple request, an acknowledgement of a shared faith, represent a turning point that will transform the relationship between villagers and migrants? On a journey exploring the source of fear and prejudice against “the others”, the inhabitants of this small European village are called upon to question their own identity, starting with the very icon of their faith: a black Jesus.