The main battle of Letizia Battaglia was against the Mafia in Sicily, where she was from. Born in 1935, she was one of the first female photo reporter of Italy. The Italian Cultural Institute in Paris, located in the beautiful Hôtel de Galliffet, 50 rue de Varenne, 5 minutes away from Musée Maillol, gives a large “Mostra” of Battaglia’s work, one year after her death, under the name “Cronaca, Vita, Amore” or “Chronicles, Life and Love”. I would have expected something about death as well, as Battaglia, in the Palermo the 1980’s, witnessed and documented many assassinations, executions, mainly related to the Mafia. Gruesome murders, in plain daylight, on a chair, in a car, in the street. She was there to document the crimes, to report, as witness. She was also very active to illustrate the lives of her contemporaries, poor and rich, workers, marginals, small children or old ladies. A somewhat dark environment but poignant pictures. Life and love in Sicily, the hard way. Chronicles for sure as Battaglia considered herself a militant. Photographer, reporter, publisher, active feminist militant, she leaves behind a large body of work that, like many times with women, has stayed in the shadow for too long. The Italian Cultural Institute made the right choice to open up its beautiful walls to render justice to this grande artiste. A great book was also published at this occasion.

The Ball, New Year’s Celebration, Villa Airoldi, Palermo, 1985 ©Letizia Battaglia
The man is hiding, not to be recognised, Geraci Siculo, 1989 ©Letizia Battaglia
The little girl with the ball, Palermo, 1980 ©Letizia Battaglia
Sergio Mattarella, Future President of the Italian Republic, while supporting the corpse of his brother Piersanti, who has just been murdered, January 1980 ©Letizia Battaglia
The man was stealing copper in the sewers and was electrocuted, Palermo, 1976 ©Letizia Battaglia