This article was originally published on Domus 1066, March 2022, so more than a month before the death of Letizia Battaglia (March 5, 1935 - April 13, 2022). The installation can still be visited.
“With my camera, I search for that genuine gaze, that combative part of beauty. My photography is an act of love. It’s about knowing, about looking with wonder at those who amaze you.” Letizia Battaglia – an award-winning Sicilian photojournalist and the first European woman to win the Eugene Smith Grant for her socially engaged photos – is the protagonist of the second temporary installation of “Meraviglioso Reale”, the latest edition of the public art project by the Off Site Art association that, with the US-based non-profit ArtBridge, has been accompanying the rebuilding of L’Aquila’s historic centre since 2014.
Presenting the perspective of one of the greatest champions of art and feminism – in 2017 The New York Times listed Battaglia as one of the world’s 11 most influential women – her large-format photos are displayed as in an open-air gallery, covering the scaffolding of the future Casa delle Donne (“House for Women”), which is currently open in the San Francesco neighbourhood and will become a feminine and feminist reference point and place of culture, research and services
According to Off Site Art: “This place is a crossroads of community experiences, stories and needs. Battaglia’s contribution is part of this struggle and resilience, a process of reconstructing the urban and social fabric for a city of the future that is open, inclusive and united.” The new edition is curated by Camilla Carè, who chose the Palermo native’s photos related to the environment and magical storytelling. “We selected the pictures that best describe the purity of nature and amazement, to share her perspective of poetic beauty with the city.”