One artist per week - Letizia Battaglia


Photography from the Mediterranean

Dozens of photographers in hundreds of photographs


Letizia Battaglia

Photography as a Life Choice, 1975-1994

b. 1935, Italy


Laetizia Battaglia photographs the victims of human nature. As a photographer for the Italian newspaper L'Ora, she documented life on the streets of Palermo, Sicily - home to the "Cosa Nostra" mafia, while also photographing everyday life and local women. Battaglia's work is featured in the documentary film Shooting the Mafia (2019).

"I was proud to be the only woman in Italy working as a photojournalist. I could not have imagined I would spend 19 years in a war waged by bloodthirsty Mafiosi, with my camera and a tremulous heart. I was always present at the site of every carnage, murder or injury." Once, when she received an especially threatening letter, she went to consult with the judge Giovanni Falcone, who was known for his determination to fight the Mafia. "He advised me to distance myself from Palermo for a while. But of course I didn't. I couldn't. I cannot feel a sense of peace, because at 84 I realize I will not live to see my country free."



Letizia Battaglia, Rich bride tripping over her veil, Casa Professa, Palermo, 1980



Letizia Battaglia, Girl with bread, Quartiere La Kalsa, Palermo, 1979



Letizia Battaglia, Playing “Hitman”, Near the Chiesa di Santa Chiara, Palermo, 1982