the courage to break the silence

Created for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November), this series started from a reflection on the theme of personal integrity (and therefore of identity) and silence or, better, of the possibility and freedom to break it .

A single face of woman, always identical to itself and apparently silent, becomes the place of a double struggle: physical and verbal.
Wrinkled, cut, wounded, burned, suffocated … however violently denied, that face does not stop questioning the beholder. What do you have to say? What do you want me to tell you?

The vermilion red words coarsely stamped on each image would appear to be the only audible voice (actually in Italian). Rugged, lashing, sardonic … who’s rough voice it belongs to? How dare you smear that face?

Unspeakable must not and cannot be the violence suffered which, indeed, must find a voice: it must not only be able to be said, but also listened to and repaired. Carefully.
Unspeakable is the indignation in the face of the deadly silence of an entire society that dares to ask the victims instead of the executioners for an account.
But the unspeakable is surmountable. Let’s do it.


In case of violence suffered or assisted – at any time, from any phone – call your national anti-violence and stalking number: it is free and guarantees maximum anonymity.

Mixed media: a dirty but necessary job

The photographs published here were taken starting from a single portrait through several steps: serial printing, material alteration of each ones, acquisition in high resolution and giclée printmaking, handmade stamping. The result is an overlap of layers and times, in a direction apparently contrary to the ‘nature’ of photography (the decisive moment so mythicized): the shooting session expands over time. The physical abuse of the starting image becomes mindfulness.
A dynamic and an aesthetic that work well for me to give form and light to urgent themes such as those relating to the right to be a person, integral, always.
A right too often questioned, on the body of women but not only. A right that must be affirmed, defended and nourished systematically, day after day, starting from here. Now.

UNSPEAKABLE (2019) – The book
57 photos by Alle Bonicalzi – www.allebonicalzi.com
Edited by allegropanico.com
128 pages

UNSPEAKABLE (2019) – The exibition