In a career that began in the mid 1970s, Battaglia has amassed an archive of more than 600,000 images, many of which show the ‘Sicilian mafia’s violent reign of tyranny,’ according to Open Eye Gallery, which is hosting an exhibition of her work from this week.
The show, entitle Breaking the Code of Silence, looks to present these hard-hitting works, as well as offering a more general exploration of photographer’s role as ‘an individual and collective means for taking action, bearing witness, providing evidence and documenting history’, according to the gallery.
Battaglia fell into photography having started out as a journalist, discovering that her articles were more likely to be published when accompanied with images.
A thread running throughout her work is her conflicted relationship with her native Italy, shown through frequently bleak, arresting images of violence and death.
Images include graphic depictions of women and children affected by Mafia intimidation.
The Open Eye Gallery show presents work from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s, with images selected to show not just the violence and despair of the period, but also the affection Battaglia still feels for Italy.
Letizia Battaglia: Breaking the Code of Silence runs from 22 February – 4 May at Open Eye Gallery, 19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront L3