Michela Battaglia and Stefano De Luigi

Igor Posner
29 May 2018


By Michela Battaglia and Stefano De Luigi

Exhibition curated by Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo

Almost nobody remembers the names of the Bataclan attackers. But everybody remembers theirnationality. They are the protagonists of a clean, fundamental break, between past and present. They are the men who brought us to coin a new slogan: homegrown terrorists. Not coming from overseas, not foreigners, not strangers.

Wrong. They are strangers, because they were treated as such, even though they grew up in those enlightened capital cities that take pride in their integration policies.

Blaming a single individual, though easy, would be wrong. It would mean looking the other way again and resorting to a self-absolving ploy.

This story starts in France, in Paris, on the eve of the day that changed the rules of self- forgiveness. Because that day could have been foreseen.

Young Europeans who got “radicalised”. In the hope of a better future, here or in another dimension, for themselves and their loved ones.

Ready-made judgments roll across news media outlets promoting the concept of the stranger, someone other than us with whom we cannot, we must not, make compromises. For he will destroy us all. Even though he looks like a boy, he craves to be a key protagonist, is edgy like a typical teenager, and angry and frustrated because he feels excluded from the world around him.

Little does it matter that Daesh propaganda has taken on board the concepts of our marketing strategies. Something similar to the advertising billboards that loom large on the walls of underground stations.

Michela Battaglia and Stefano De Luigi invite us to take stock, by presenting images that are even agreeable on the surface, but burst apart under a more attentive eye. Mimmo Rotella winking at videogames. By lifting the veil of aesthetic pleasantness, a dense conceptual matter is revealed, which clings to us despite ourselves, in a multi-layered sequence of interpretation that obliges us to stop and think. Two different generations, two different languages and two different sets of influence. But sharing an almost symbiotic depth.


Michela Battaglia was born in Palermo, Italy, in 1982. After obtaining a Masters Degree in Modern Philology at the Università degli Studi di Palermo in 2009, she moved to Milan to take up photography.

In 2012 her book Storie di Mafia was published by Postcart Edizioni. Her works have been exhibited both in Italy and abroad.

In 2013, she moved to New York, where she later graduated from the International Center of Photography.

She lives in Milan.


Stefano De Luigi (Cologne, 1964) Italian. Lives in Paris from 1989 to 1996 where he worked for the Grand Louvre Museum as photographer.

He has published 3 books Pornoland (Thames&Hudson 2004) Blanco(Trolley 2010) iDyssey (Bessard Edition 2017) .

Among the others Stefano De Luigi awards won 4 times the World Press Photo, the Getty Grant for editorial photography and Days Japan. He works with several international publications such as New Yorker ,Geo, Paris Match Stern.

He has exhibited his work in New York, Paris, Geneva, Rome, London,Istanbul, Athens . Stefano De Luigi is a member of VII Agency since 2008. He lives in Paris.


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