Isabella Balena

Photojournalist for many years, she’s worked with some of the main Italian and foreign magazines. For some years she has been trying to deepen themes related to contemporary history and social dynamics. She believes that photography finds its essence when it manages to be the “voice and gaze” of an otherwise invisible community.
Her photos are present in public collections (Museum of Contemporary Photography, Farnesina Art Collection (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and private (Donata Pizzi Collection and others).
She was born in Rimini, she works in Milan.


“Please don’t try to close the curtains” (… because they are fixed), continued the sentence displayed in a beautiful Scottish hotel. I took these words as the title of this series of photographs.
A work in progress, because at every latitude, I photograph windows. From the inside I look out to other worlds, from the outside to the intimacy of the interior. Not closing the curtains is a bit like not closing your eyes. You have to look at the world, whether it be good or bad.


“When you go home, tell them of us, and say: For your tomorrow we gave our today” Kohima epitaph, Burma Memorial I decided to tell through photography the memory of the Second World War in Italy, a distant but still current story in the Italian political differences and, above all, in the pain of those who lived directly or indirectly those events. I tried to interpret the current memory according to my yardstick of knowledge and evaluation, restoring the suggestion of a place or a fact with a current photographic image. I had the feeling, at times, finding myself in large and small commemorations, that my camera had a responsibility to be there for someone. And this, after all, is my interpretation of photography, that is, being in a certain place at a precise moment to document and share with others something worthy of being remembered. The meaning of my project should be precisely this: to solicit the gaze of a visitor today through images, inviting him to reflect on his own history and to pay attention to current existence, divided between endless wars and the need for justice. I wanted to give voice to all the “little” personal stories that have been told to me. Each of them went to fill the mosaic of the greater History. The names remain, yes, many, millions, different only in origin, religion, deployment on the battlefield. The names of those whose bodies are unknown also remain. The names remain by heart. In 2007, the director Marco Segato made a documentary produced by Jolefilm,