Letizia Battaglia

Letizia Battaglia recounts with passionate activism the bloody years of the Sicilian Mafia wars. In a black and white dense with contrasts, her archive is composed of photos that are poignant in the perfection of their composition, silent and solemn. In this image Sergio Mattarella holds the lifeless body of his brother Piersanti, killed in a Mafia ambush. Letizia Battaglia captures the precise moment in which the victim’s wife and daughter compose a heartbreaking modern Pietà.

Letizia Battaglia recounts with passionate activism the bloody years of the Sicilian Mafia wars. In a black and white dense with contrasts, her archive is composed of photos that are poignant in the perfection of their composition, silent and solemn. In Triplice Omicidio (Triple Homicide), the corpses of Nerina, a drug dealer who was trying to set up her own business, and her accomplices lie prone in a dingy living room, implacably executed by an unforgiving system.

Letizia Battaglia recounts with passionate activism the bloody years of the Sicilian Mafia wars. Her archive is composed of black and white photographs dense with contrasts. They are poignant in the perfection of their composition, silent and solemn. Apart from photographing the victims of violence, she tells stories of her favorite subjects, little girls and young women portrayed as the expression of a possible future. The little girl in white in this picture however, seems threatened by the man who is close to her, and by the dark shadows that surround them both.

LETIZIA BATTAGLIA was one of the first women photojournalists in Italy. From 1974 to 1991 she directed the photography team of the Communist afternoon newspaper “L’ORA” in Palermo and founded the agency “Informazione Fotografica”. Her images depict with the passion of an activist the bloody years of the Sicilian Mafia Wars. In black and white and dense with contrasts, the pictures in her archive are heart-breaking in the perfection of their composition. In addition to the bodies of judges and nameless victims, she continues to tell the stories of her favourite subjects through her lens, girls and young women depicted as the expression of a possible future. Not only a photographer, she is also a director, environmentalist, city and regional advisor in the season of “primavera palermitana”, and publisher of Edizioni della Battaglia. In 1985 she was the first European woman to be awarded the “Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography”, followed by the “Erich Salomon Award” (2007) and the “Cornell Capa Infinity Award” (2009). *She was born in 1935, she lives and works in Palermo.