Outlining a Sirocco Approach

Sirocco (from the Arabic, sharq, which means “East”) is a term which refers to the seasonal winds that originate in the Sahara Desert, move across the Mediterranean Sea, and later transform the climate of Spain (where it is also called Siroco and sometimes Leveche), Portugal (Xaroco), France (Marín), Italy (Sirocco or Scirocco), and countries farther east like Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan where the wind system is called Simoom.

map slide courtesy of http://www.weatheronline.co.uk

In terms of their eastward movement also also as a kind of metaphor for cultural connections, these wind patterns connect North Africa, Andalusia, and though indirectly, India (the Roma motherland), and are an endless source of creative inspiration especially in flamenco song lyrics and compositions.

Paco_De_Lucia-Siroco-FrontalThe Sirocco’s movement across the Mediterranean can be understood as a metaphor for the complex history of groups that encountered, re-encountered, or, perhaps in most basic terms “crossed” in places like Andalusia (Roma, Sephardic Jews, Berbers, Moors, and West African “negros libres” were some of those groups). The crossing of these cultural groups transformed Andalusia and, to varying extents, other areas marked by the Sirocco winds. The wind system, then, embodies a trajectory that mirrors incredible cultural and artistic crossings. That is our inspiration: to explain the wind system, to explain how it generates other wind systems, and to discuss the montage of cultural patterns that the Sirocco embodies.

Though we are particularly fascinated by Andalusia and Andalusian influence on new world forms (forms that carry reference to the Sirocco, sometimes literally and sometimes  metaphorically) wind system appears in the incredible work of Kiev-born artist, Elena Kotliarker, who invokes Kabbalah and Jewish symbolism in her work:

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The Sirocco winds have impacted architectural forms in Sicily, too. A Manfredi Saeli and Enrico Saeli article in the Journal of Cultural Heritage explores the topic. These Sirocco rooms were underground because of the extreme heat that the winds carried from North Africa. Related to this study, a sustainable approach to modern building techniques in Sicily produced this fascinating statement:

“The traditional architecture of the Mediterranean Basin has been strongly influenced by the particular climatic and environmental conditions, by respecting in an unconscious way the sustainable criteria, which many contemporary architects tend to. Actually, the “Sirocco’s Room” typical of the old villas in the countryside of Palermo, the “Covoli” of Costozza as well as the Iranian “Towers of wind”, were able to guarantee the comfort inside the buildings without energetic consumption. So, the sun and the wind have become the “design materials” that we have used in order to renovate the building.” (Corrao, Balsamo, Calabrò, Di Stefano, Spera)

The Towers of Wind of Iran, lines of continuity emerge through the architectural “response” to the wind and climate system.

The Sirocco has impacted architectural forms from Persia to Italy to Spain. Consciously or unconsciously, it becomes embedded in many types of cultural forms, and those forms generate spaces and cultural practices.

We look forward to sharing more on this topic, the “operational system” of this blog and source of inspiration for our creative work in writing, photography, and even study abroad program development.




SiroccoBlue Photography: Bahian Sky Series

These photographs were taken in 2014 at what is termed “um portal” in the capital city of the state of Bahia, Salvador (Brazil).

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Um portal (a doorway or threshold) is a spiritually active geographic position in the city. Here, too, is a crossroads of wind systems where the bay (Bahia de Todos os Santos) meets the open Atlantic Ocean.

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Please send us a line to order prints or our customized cards: SiroccoBlue7@gmail.com

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There are twelve other photographs in the Bahian Sky series that we will be posting soon.

Falmouth Series

Treasures of Massachusetts. A cold, windy late Fall sunset just outside of Falmouth.

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Please email us at SiroccoBlue7@gmail.com for more print information as well as the creation of cards (our writing or content provided by you).


Amagansett Series II

The striking light of late Fall, back roads between Montauk and Amangansett, and a brief stop in East Hampton (2016)

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While we set up the online store, please send us an email for more information (and to order) prints. We also create cards with original content or content that you create.


Sirocco Blue Amagansett Series

Our latest series shot in Amagansett & East Hampton, New York, now available in print:

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Perhaps most dramatic is this final image standing alone, two figures that appear to be rising from an island on another planet:


We are able to make different print sizes and even customize cards (we would be glad to assist with the written content or simply include your words).

While we set up the online store, please send any questions to SiroccoBlue7@gmail.com

Tempestade na Orla, Barra

Tempestade na Orla, Barra
Salvador | Bahia | Brazil

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