Letizia Battaglia "Anthology"


Mario Puzo wrote a book, and Coppola made a film about the Mafia, but only Letizia Battaglia told the real story; the plain, harsh story. She told Vice that her mission was “to document everything that acted as testimony against the Mafia.” Over the years, Battaglia took some 600,000 images whilst documenting 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. In a recent interview with CNN, Battaglia claimed that her “archives are full of blood” interspersed with images that capture the “immense beauty” of Sicily.

A large selection of her iconic black and white images are presented in the catalogue, guiding the reader along a journey into one of post-war Italy’s darkest periods. Drawing from Battaglia’s personal archive the book also includes more recent projects. It offers a unique approach to her genre-defining photography (often linked to that of American ‘crime’ photographer Weegee) and a chance to reflect on the role of photography as an individual and collective means for taking action, bearing witness, providing evidence and documenting history. The Daily Beast wrote that her pictures capture “Mafia judges and police officers, many dead in their cars with blood so fresh it glimmers like water.” Yet some present daily Sicilian life with “young girls playing on the cobbled streets and wealthy women in fur collars sipping champagne.”

Letizia Battaglia, Anthology

Hardcover, 24x32 cm, 96 pages  |  Drago Publisher
ISBN: 978-88-98565-18-4
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Paul B.
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Not to be missed

A truly stunning body of work presented in a fantastic format. The book is impressively large, the photos printed in crisp detail. To flick through the pages is to step back in time to the underbelly of Sicilian culture.

Franco L.
Italy Italy

Per intenditori. Voto 9

Anthology è un'imponente raccolta dello straordinario lavoro fotografico di Letizia Battaglia. Anche se le sue foto documentano un ampio spettro di vita siciliana, il corpus delle sue opere è meglio conosciuto per il suo lavoro sulla mafia. Nel corso degli anni, Battaglia ha scattato circa 600.000 immagini, documentando la guerra interna feroce della mafia, e il suo assalto alla società civile. Battaglia racconta di essersi trovata sulla scena di quattro o cinque diversi omicidi in uno stesso giorno. Ha fotografato i morti così spesso che lei stessa si è descritta come un obitorio in movimento. Uno spettacolo.