After the successs of Letizia Battaglia's "'Anthology', Sicilian photographer's new book, 'Just For Passion', catalogues now her exhibition at Rome's MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts.
'Just for Passion' explores the incredible scope and character of Letizia Battaglia's work.
With over 100 photographs including previously unpublished works, the collection captures an intimate insight into the ambivalence of Italian life, from harrowing images of the Mafia to beautiful portraits of the women and children of Palermo.
In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Battaglia explained that through the duality of her work, she aimed to 'to denounce corruption and to exalt beauty.'
Contributors include the Dean of the International Centre of Photography in New York, Fred RITCHIN; curator, Paolo FALCONE; journalist, Attilio BOLZONI; photography critic, Giovanna CALVENZI; the Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca ORLANDO; Palermo's Anti-Mafia Magistrate, Franca IMBERGAMO; the President of the MAXXI Museum, Giovanna MELANDRI and the Museum's Director of Architecture, Margherita GUCCIONE." (publisher's note)
About the photographer (*1935):
Letizia Battaglia is an Italian photographer and photojournalist.
Although her photos document a wide spectrum of Sicilian life, she is best known for her work on the Mafia.
She was born in Palermo, Sicily. Married at 16, she took up photojournalism after her divorce in 1971, while raising three daughters.
Over the years she documented the ferocious internal war of the Mafia, and its assault on civil society. Battaglia sometimes found herself at the scene of four or five different murders in a single day.
BATTAGLIA and ZECCHIN produced many of the iconic images that have come to represent Sicily and the Mafia throughout the world. She photographed the dead so often that she was like a roving morgue. 'Suddenly,' she once said, 'I had an archive of blood.'
Battaglia also became involved in women's and environmental issues. For several years she stopped taking pictures and officially entered the world of politics.
From 1985 to 1991 she held a seat on the Palermo city council for the Green Party, from 1991 to 1996 she was a Deputy at the Sicilian Regional Assembly for The Network. She was instrumental in saving and reviving the historic center of Palermo. For a time she ran a publishing house, Edizioni della Battaglia, and co-founded a monthly journal for women, Mezzocielo.
She is deeply involved in working for the rights of women and, most recently, prisoners. In 1993, when prosecutors in Palermo indicted Giulio ANDREOTTI, who had been prime minister of Italy seven times, the police searched Battaglia's archives and found two 1979 photographs of ANDREOTTI with an important Mafioso, Nino SALVO, he had denied knowing.
Aside from the accounts of turncoats, these pictures were the only physical evidence of this powerful politician's connections to the Sicilian Mafia. Battaglia herself had forgotten having taken the photograph. Its potential significance was apparent only 15 years after it was taken.
In 1999 she received the Photography Lifetime Achievement of the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography.
In 2007 she received the Erich Salomon-Preis, a 'lifetime achievement' award of the Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Photographie (DGPh) and the most prestigious prize in Germany.
In 2009, she was given the Cornell Capa Infinity Award by the International Center of Photography.
BATTAGLIA has a cameo appearance in the 2008 Wim WENDERS film Palermo Shooting as a photographer.
"'Just For Passion' folgt Letizia Battaglias FOTOBAND 'Anthology' nach und begleitet die Ausstellung der sizilianischen Fotografin im MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rom.
'Just for Passion"' erforscht die unglaubliche Bandbreite und den Charakter von Letizia BATAGLIAs fotografischem Werk.
Mit über 100 Fotografien, darunter auch bisher unveröffentlichte, erfasst die Sammlung einen intimen Einblick in die Ambivalenz des italienischen Lebens, von erschütternden Bildern der Mafia bis hin zu wunderschönen Porträts der Frauen und Kinder Palermos." (freie Übersetzung des Verlagstextes)
Weitere Fotobuchtitel von/über Letizia BATTAGLIA:
'Passion Justice Freedom' (1999)
'Dovere di cronaca' (2006)