4 August 2014
Francesco Scannella chats to Mafia Exposed about his new book
“…At a tender age, “Frank” was torn from the suburban idyll of 1960s Surrey and thrust into a Mafia backwater in Sicily’s blazing interior. All the passions, superstitions and ancient codes of the island were openly displayed in Mussomeli, Frank’s new home for several years, but mention of the Mafia was punishable.”
Your father sent you and your family back to Sicily when you were only seven. What was it like to be thrust into gang life at such a young age? How did you adapt?
FS: In the larger villages like Mussomeli, gangs were a part of life. You were born into a certain quarter of the village and were part of that quarter until you died. Quarters were either divided by church, prominent landmarks or important roads but obviously, in times past, the divisions had been familial, so it was rare to find relatives that belonged to other quarters, unless it was through marriage—and then the masculine would take precedence.
FS: From the age of four to about ten, we would be out and about and away from our homes and any parental supervision, from mid-morning to dusk. We were completely adult-free within our own territories, but lived by various rules and borders negotiated between gangs. No gang was allowed to enter another territory as a gang. You had to be by yourself or at most with a couple of friends, and have a very good reason to do so. Gambling, selling cigarettes or offering donkey rides were some acceptable examples.
See the full interview on MAFIA EXPOSED
Sicilian Shadows on the Medina Publishing website.