From Library Journal
Aperture brings to the fore the captivating and politically charged photographs of Sicilian photographer Battaglia. For the last 30 years, Battaglia has documented the many pains and relatively few triumphs of her native Palermo, a city that was, until recently, clenched in the fists of the Cosa Nostra. She covered Mafia killings and suicides, the poverty of the Palermitani, and, most importantly, the maxi trials of the early 1990s, during which prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino were assassinated. "I took pictures of everything," Battaglia is quoted as saying. "Suddenly I had an archive of blood." In 1993, police raided Battaglia's studio to uncover any evidence that would link former prime minister Giulio Andreotti to the Mafia. Sure enough, the authorities found a photo that Battaglia didn't realize she had taken of Andreotti with known crime boss Nino Salvo; the trial is expected to end this year. Contributors such as Stille (Excellent Cadavers), Renate Siebert (Secrets of Life and Death: Women and the Mafia), and Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando offer enlightening background on the maxi trials, recent Sicilian history, and Battaglia herself. For most collections.AMark Rotella, Brooklyn
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"At its worst there were as many as five Mafia-related killings a day [in Palermo]. And wherever the murder was, there, too, was a small, slightly disheveled, blond dynamo, brandishing her camera like a weapon as she recorded the carnage for her paper. Now, some one hundred of those images have been gathered in Letizia Battaglia: Passion, Justice, Freedom--Photographs of Sicily. The book is a stark indictment of life--and death--under the Mafia. Battaglia's images have become emblematic of a growing Italian anti-Mafia movement." --Newsday