BUT TO MY FAMILY HE WAS A LOVELY MAN

Gender inequality and its manifestation of gender violence are a vast and complicated phenomenon, growing at an alarming rate and which know no boundaries of nationality, race, wealth, religion, culture, economic or political status. 
Domestic violence is one of the declinations of a culture of gender inequality. Despite the changes in legislation, the phenomenon is on a rise: half of female murder victims worldwide are killed by a current or former partner; domestic violence causes more death and disability amongst women aged between sixteen and forty-four than cancer or traffic accidents. 126 women died in the UK victims of gender violence (mainly as a result of domestic violence) in 2012, 134 in 2013, over 250 died in Italy over the same period: this means that both in the UK and in Italy one woman dies every three days just for being a woman*. 

Through the use of digital collage and text the series hopes to raise awareness to domestic violence and in particular to some of the issues that women face in an abusive situation, such as the isolation that too often accompanies it, the inefficiency of the legislation, the ineffectiveness of police intervention, and the feeling of control and possession frequently mistaken for love.
Like in a macabre, modern version of dress up games, the contrast between the perfection of the wedding photographs with their symbolism, and the low resolution snapshots of the victims as can be found on media devices, wants to be a crude warning that unfortunately, too often, behind the beauty of the curtains there hides the horror of domestic violence.

*Data from Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion, kareningalasmith.com/counting-dead-women, casadonne.it, etc.

Specifications:
Digital collage (scanned vintage photograph and internet picture), text. 
Digital prints. 20x27" framed (approximately)

 

 

Texts on the images:

 

Anna Rosa Fontana, 38

07 December 2010, Matera, Italy. He had stabbed Anna Rosa 15 times to her neck, chest, and belly: he had done it on 13th July 2005, in the lobby of the building where she lived. But Anna Rosa survived and he was sent to jail. Two years later he was set free, found a house near hers and started to threaten Anna Rosa all over again. On the evening of 7th December he surprised her in the very same place where he had assulted her 5 years before. He dragged Anna Rosa into a cellar and stabbed her another 6 times: two of those almost detached her head from the neck.

 

Denise Morello, 22

16 April 2013, Montebelluna (TV), Italy. The love between Denise Morello and Matteo Rossi was over since two months. The man, after the break, had tried to win her back by buying an entire newspaper page: "this madness to let you know how much I'm crazy about you, Denise. Your Matteo”. Denise was "an angel" according to an acquaintance, and the man had never given up the idea of losing her. He had begun to stalk her and Denise had asked for help from the police in Montebelluna. The 40-year old had been summoned to the police station where he was told to leave alone his former girlfriend. But something may have already been smoldering in his mind because, shortly after, he made a request to the authorities to get a gun license for "sporting use": in March 2013 he bought the Beretta model "Iver" with which he killed Denise.

 

Enzina Cappuccio, 34

15 January 2012, Marano (NA), Italy. Enzina had six children, was very poor and practically blind. Her husband, Salvatore Giuliano, illegal valet, killed her. Enzina was punched, kicked, bitten, cigarette butts on the skin, her head slammed against the floor and, as she was still breathing, she was strangled. "I was drunk. I did not realize I had killed her" said the husband when questioned by the police after ranting about a mysterious attack at home. It seems that Enzina dared to protest with him because he was looking at pictures of women on the phone.

 

Antonia Bianco, 43

13 February 2012, San Giuliano Milanese (MI), Italy. Some shaky steps on the sidewalk, a hand to her chest and the other against the walls of the house. 
Antonia’s last words were for the police: "I'm sick, he beat me again ...." Then she slumped on the pavement and died; a few minutes earlier she was with her former partner, Carmine Buono, father of her son and the man she had previously sued for stalking. At first the investigators thought that Antonia’s heart had given out because of the quarrel with him. But after a few days the truth: Antonia had been killed with a stab to the heart, a needle stuck in her chest and not a drop of blood.

 

Carmela Petrucci, 17 & Lucia Petrucci, 18

17 October 2012, Palermo, Italy. Carmela Petrucci has been slaughtered in the lobby of her apartment building while trying to defend her sister Lucia from her former boyfriend. Samuele Caruso, 23, could not accept that Lucia had left him. The girl had asked for help to the police: "change your phone number” was the solution offered. One day he waited for Lucia after school: he stabbed her violently and when Carmela tried to intervene he did the same to her. Lucia survived.

 

Julissa Dilia Reyes Feliciano, 26

05 May 2012, Vicenza, Italy. Julissa had reported her former partner to the police for stalking for a staggering 6 times. That night he waited for her to finish working and convinced Julissa to follow him in a hotel room in the center of Vicenza. He then butchered her and called her mother: “At last I killed your daughter”.

 

Gabriella Falzoni, 51

04 March 2012, Roverbella (MN), Italy. Giovanni Lucchese, 56, was terrified of losing his wife. "If I do not have you, no one else will" he swore to himself as, seized with a fit for a few text messages which he said showed the betrayal, was clutching a scarf around his wife’s neck. Her name was Gabriella Falzoni : 51, cheerful, hard-working in a clothing company. The couple had just been in Kenya for holiday, and a few hours before the murder they had been seen in church for mass along with their son. After having strangled Gabriella, Giovanni Lucchese went straight to the police: "I killed my wife", he confessed, "I loved her."

 

Marilia Rodrigues Silva Martin, 29

29 August 2013, Gambara (BS), Italy. "It was not him," kept repeating Claudio Grigoletto's wife, mother of two daughters, the first of one year and a half and the other of two months. Marilia Rodrigues Silva Martins,
had been found dead on the floor of the office of Alpi Aviation do Brazil. After having strangled her, Grigoletto had tampered with the boiler to vent the gas, poured acid into the mouth of Marilia, and covered her body with newspapers in an attempt to start a fire. Marilia was a "problem" for him and his marriage: they were lovers and she was four months pregnant.

 

Stefania Cancelliere, 39

28 June 2012, Legnano (MI), Italy. He struck eighty times with a hammer. The neighbors stopped him when they were able to open the door of the hallway of the building. Stefania was on the ground and Roberto, her ex-husband, continued to beat her. She died after 16 hours of agony. Stefania Cancelliere, a mother of three, was nineteen years younger than Roberto Colombo, primary ophthalmologist. They were separated, and Stefania had a boyfriend since a few months. The quarrels were frequent. They fought for the goods of him and for the maintenance of the children. Stefania had previously sued her husband for stalking. The police had seized the weapons collection of the doctor. No other provisions were taken.