Bee Generation

Piaggio Ape 501 - Salvatore Diamante - Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 – Salvatore Diamante – Gardener

This project shows a world whose roots lie in my childhood spent in Sicily, the place where I was born. It’s about one of the most precarious categories of workers who try to survive from day to day by making a living without the certainty of tomorrow. They are street vendors, farm hands, smiths, and other small artisans and workers who still represent an important working class, particularly in South Italy, that is largely affected by the current crisis and in general by globalization.

But this series is above all a tribute to the most common means of transport of these workers, a characteristic vehicle that is part of Italian tradition, and that is slowly disappearing: the “Ape Piaggio” (Bee). The Bee is a three-wheeled cheap, minimal and versatile means. Basically it is a motorcycle equipped with a small cabin and a loading platform suitable for all kinds of small transports. My childhood memories are still inhabited by images of these tiny vehicles buzzing all around the streets of Sicilian cities and villages.

Using a language in between documentary and portraiture, through a series of triptychs, I try to evocatively depict the special relationship that the owners have established with their Bees, a relationship that often lasts a lifetime.
The images of the polyhedral cabins indirectly tell the stories of their owners, even more than the portraits themselves do. Faded, rusted and worn-out up to the point to be literally consumed, the Bees represent the fascinating symbol of a working class that still resists and fights for its own survival.

The project is still on-going and hopefully will conclude with a book.

Piaggio Ape 501 - Salvatore Diamante - Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 – Salvatore Diamante – Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 - Salvatore Diamante - Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 – Salvatore Diamante – Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 - Salvatore Diamante - Gardener

Piaggio Ape 501 – Salvatore Diamante – Gardener

 

Piaggio Ape TM - Ottavio Zagarella - Smith

Piaggio Ape TM – Ottavio Zagarella – Smith

Piaggio Ape TM - Ottavio Zagarella - Smith

Piaggio Ape TM – Ottavio Zagarella – Smith

Piaggio Ape TM - Ottavio Zagarella - Smith

Piaggio Ape TM – Ottavio Zagarella – Smith

Piaggio Ape TM - Ottavio Zagarella - Smith

Piaggio Ape TM – Ottavio Zagarella – Smith

 

Piaggio Ape TM - Giuseppe Roccaro - Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM – Giuseppe Roccaro – Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM - Giuseppe Roccaro - Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM – Giuseppe Roccaro – Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM - Giuseppe Roccaro - Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM – Giuseppe Roccaro – Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM - Giuseppe Roccaro - Carrier

Piaggio Ape TM – Giuseppe Roccaro – Carrier

 

Piaggio Apecar P2 - Paolo Bianca - Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 – Paolo Bianca – Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 - Paolo Bianca - Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 – Paolo Bianca – Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 - Paolo Bianca - Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 – Paolo Bianca – Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 - Paolo Bianca - Farm Hand

Piaggio Apecar P2 – Paolo Bianca – Farm Hand

 

Piaggio Ape 50 - Carmelo Mangiafico - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Carmelo Mangiafico – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Carmelo Mangiafico - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Carmelo Mangiafico – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Carmelo Mangiafico - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Carmelo Mangiafico – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Carmelo Mangiafico - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Carmelo Mangiafico – Greengrocer

 

Piaggio Ape 501 - Giovanni Battaglia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 – Giovanni Battaglia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 - Giovanni Battaglia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 – Giovanni Battaglia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 - Giovanni Battaglia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 – Giovanni Battaglia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 - Giovanni Battaglia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 501 – Giovanni Battaglia – Plowman

 

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Pasqualino Vinci - Peddler of "calia" and "semenza"

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Pasqualino Vinci – Peddler of “calia” and “semenza”

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Pasqualino Vinci - Peddler of "calia" and "semenza"

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Pasqualino Vinci – Peddler of “calia” and “semenza”

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Pasqualino Vinci - Peddler of "calia" and "semenza"

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Pasqualino Vinci – Peddler of “calia” and “semenza”

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Pasqualino Vinci - Peddler of "calia" and "semenza"

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Pasqualino Vinci – Peddler of “calia” and “semenza”

 

Piaggio Ape TM - Salvatore Bianca - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM – Salvatore Bianca – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM - Salvatore Bianca - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM – Salvatore Bianca – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM - Salvatore Bianca - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM – Salvatore Bianca – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM - Salvatore Bianca - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM – Salvatore Bianca – Plowman

 

Piaggio Ape 50 - Salvatore Fuggetta - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Salvatore Fuggetta – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Salvatore Fuggetta - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Salvatore Fuggetta – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Salvatore Fuggetta - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Salvatore Fuggetta – Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 - Salvatore Fuggetta - Greengrocer

Piaggio Ape 50 – Salvatore Fuggetta – Greengrocer

 

Piaggio Ape 500 MP - Giuseppe Musso - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP – Giuseppe Musso – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP - Giuseppe Musso - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP – Giuseppe Musso – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP - Giuseppe Musso - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP – Giuseppe Musso – Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP - Giuseppe Musso - Plowman

Piaggio Ape 500 MP – Giuseppe Musso – Plowman

 

Piaggio Ape TM P601 - Sebastiano Fugali - Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 – Sebastiano Fugali – Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 - Sebastiano Fugali - Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 – Sebastiano Fugali – Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 - Sebastiano Fugali - Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 – Sebastiano Fugali – Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 - Sebastiano Fugali - Farm Hand

Piaggio Ape TM P601 – Sebastiano Fugali – Farm Hand

 

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Antonio Silvia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Antonio Silvia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Antonio Silvia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Antonio Silvia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Antonio Silvia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Antonio Silvia – Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 - Antonio Silvia - Plowman

Piaggio Ape TM P703 – Antonio Silvia – Plowman

10 thoughts on “Bee Generation

  1. Marco these pictures are so strong! They manage to reveal the honest struggle of this people and inspire respect and admiration. If you decide to go ahead with it, I would love to see the outcome of a book carrying this precious document. Congratulations!

  2. What a truly fabulous story with photos of those who use the Ape as it was intended. I restore them here in Canada and bring them back to life as new for clientele who appreciate the usefulness of this vehicle. It attracts attention from young and old and from those who have fond memories of them in their faraway homeland.
    An adventure on three wheels – well done – Ken

    • Thank you very much Ken!
      What a great thing to know that there are persons like you in Canada who love and take care of the “Api”! Well done Ken!
      My photo project is still on-going. I hope to expand it to some other region of Italy and would like to end up with a book.
      If you’re interested in the development of the story, keep in touch with me through my blog or my social pages.

      • If you’re interested in photos for possible use I have a large collection. Contact me through my website.
        Probably the most fun of all is to teach the young owners how to maintain and restore their Api. Usually their fathers are not really computer literate and those who either constructed Api or were mechanics who worked on them no longer have the same interest. It’s called ‘ Been there – done that ‘.
        The Ape community is Worldwide so the quest for information comes from far and wide. The passion is equal wherever the source. – Ken

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