Some of You Killed Luisa is Valeria Cherchi’s attempt to decode the complex structure of the kidnapping phenomenon that has crossed her homeland, the Italian island of Sardinia.

There, between the 1960s and the 1990s almost 200 people were kidnapped for ransom. On the 16th of June 1992 the upper part of a human ear is found by a priest on a mountainous road in Barbagia, central Sardinia, while a young boy, Farouk Kassam, is spending his fifth month in a hidden cave. He is held captive by a group of masked strangers. He is only seven years old and about Cherchi’s same age. Like most kids, she is also terrified of being taken away from her home.

Eleven years later, Luisa Manfredi was shot dead on the balcony of her flat. She was 14 years old and the daughter of Matteo Boe, Farouk’s kidnapper. No-one was ever charged or convicted for her murder, which remains a mystery until this day. After several years of field research, interaction with local communities, digging of media archives and her family’s video albums, she presents a kaleidoscopic story mixing photos, video stills and a log of her research, where memories, sociological and anthropological observations mingle.

Project presente in Giovane Fotografia Italiana #06 | ACTIVISM

Valeria Cherchi. Courtesy Federico Ciamei


(Sassari, 1986)

Valeria Cherchi obtained her BA in Industrial Design at the Sapienza University in Rome and her MA in Fashion Photography at the London University of the Arts.

In 2016 she was selected to the ISSP International Masterclass by Simon Norfolk. Her photographic research revolves around social and cultural issues, driven as she is by the need of exploring topics such as time, memories and history connected to her personal experience. She is interested in real and tangible stories, which she tells through complex characters, often combining photography and writing.

She is based in Milan.