artist / participant
Letizia Battaglia has documented the battle of the Mafia since the 80's. As a true Sicilian, born in 1935, she photographed this bloody war between the numerous Mafia clans. In black and white images Letizia narrates this dark chapter in the recent Sicilian history using her camera as a silent witness.
To show the crimes of the mafia and to combat against the mafia has become her mission in life. Thanks to her both sharp and quick eyes and her perseverance (often she was literally kicked of the crime scene) she has created an impressive oeuvre which can be considered as one of the most influential and most important ones in the history of photography.
Dutch photographer and journalist Hans Aarsman said in a panel debate in which he took place together with Letizia Battaglia and documentary filmmaker Hans Keller: "If documentary photography is good, than so called art photography can never be at a same level"
Letizia Battaglia received many awards for her work a.o. "W. Eugene Smith Award" 1985, New York Times Award, 1986, Mother Jones Achievement for Life Award, San Francisco, 1999 , "dr Erich Salomon Award", Berlin,
2007 and recently "Cornell Capa Award" from the International Center of Photography in New York, 2009.
At Galery Metis-NL we now show recent photographs of Letizia Battaglia in which she position female models infront of her historic mafia photographs.
Letizia Battaglia's daughter Shobha became a photographer the day her mother was called for a job and couldn't go. Shobha went in her mothers place and returned with great pictures which where immediately published in the journal L'Ora. In 1998 Shobha won the World Press Photo with her series about the Sicilian Aristocracy "Gli Ultimi Gattopardi". In 2001 she won the World Press Photo again with her series about stylist Oumuo Sy from Senegal. In that same year Shobha got the Hansel-Mieth Preis for the series "Chiesa e Mafia" (Church and Mafia) for which series she collaborated with writer Petra Reski.
In 2003 Shobha made a series for UNICEF about the treatment of minors in Moldova.
In the current exhibit at Galery Metis-NL Shobha shows new photographs of Sicily, day to dat life, de beauty, de silence of the landscape and the spoors humans leave in it. But behind the truth we see, lies another one...
only in german
Rabbia & Silenzio
Letizia Battaglia & Shobha