22 February 2019
The first female photographer in Italy to work for a daily newspaper and the first European woman to win the Eugene Smith Grant, Letizia Battaglia – born in Palermo in 1935 – is rigorous, bold and passionate in her work and has a stunning, simple style that is instantly recognisable. Hers is the story of a woman that has succeeded in combining life and work in a way that few others have been able to.
Between 20 March and 18 August 20019, the Casa dei Tre Oci in Venice will be hosting a large exhibition showcasing the entire career of Letizia Battaglia.
Curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti and organised by Civita Tre Venezie in collaboration with the Letizia Battaglia Archive and promoted by Fondazione di Venezia with the participation of Tendercapital, the exhibition includes 200 images, many of which have never been seen before, shining a light on the social and political context within which they were shot.
The exhibition is split up by theme, focusing on the topics that have come to define Battaglia’s distinctive style and prompted her to undertake a profound and continuous process of social criticism. Avoiding traditional locations, she questioned the visual standards of contemporary culture. Portraits of women, men, animals and children are among the sections of the exhibition, as well as pictures of cities such as Palermo and work around issues including politics, life, death and love. The result is a true portrait of Battaglia: maverick intellectual, poetic and political photographer, woman interested in what was around her and fascinated by what lay further afield.
Battaglia is primarily known for her photographs exploring the effect of the mafia on her city: the killings, the grief, the political intrigue and the fight against organised crime led by Falcone and Borsellino. Over the course of her career, Battaglia also documented the life of poor people and showed the demonstrations that took place in the town squares. She believed that cities were the perfect places to observe reality. She chose her subjects carefully, with the photographs strengthening her ideology and beliefs around society, politics and the emancipation of women.