Letizia Battaglia


The ‘Little Girl with the Ball’ is a photograph by Letizia Battaglia, taken in 1980 in Palermo’s Cala neighborhood. The image depicts a little girl playing with a ball, while in the background stands the doorway at number 3 Tarzanà Square. The little girl’s clean face became a symbol of hope, of a possible redemption and future for Palermo women, in contrast to the violence and corruption that plagued the city. The essential and powerful image expresses the innocence and vitality of youth in a difficult historical context for the city. The composition of the photo, with the little girl in the center and the gateway in the background, creates a harmony between life and the surrounding urban environment. Letizia Battaglia, known for her fight against the Mafia, was a photojournalist of great prestige and sensitivity, known for her portraits, especially of women and girls. In 2018, thanks to the television program “Chi l’ha visto?”, after 38 years she met again the protagonist of her photo: Katia, whom she had never met before and who became a woman proud of her honesty. A new and deep friendship was born.

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