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 Lialia  Kuznetsova

World famous photographer, pictorial historian of Gypsy life


Lialia Kuznetsova is one of the few female photographers who have gained recognition and popularity worldwide. Throughout her entire career Lialia Kuznetsova researched a theme inseparable from the Russian culture - the Gypsies. 
Lialia Kuznetsova's photos were exhibited in Europe and America and gained her honorary rewards: Leica Superiority Medal and  Mother Jones Award, German academic grant of Austauschdienst, and Gold Medal for Humanity. Her exhibitions travelled all over the world, from Arles to Berlin and from Paris to New York.
Lialia Kuznetsova was born in the town of Uralsk, Kazakhstan in 1946. She graduated from the Kazan State Aviation Institute and worked as an aircraft engineer. Lialia's life dramatically changed after the untimely death of her husband. She resorted to her childhood dream and took up photography. As a little girl Lialia secretly observed "outasight sun-scorched" people, the Gypsies who lived in her aunt's yard.
In 1977, as an  adult already, she got acquainted with a Gipsy in a market in Kazakhstan, came for an excursion to his camp, took several pictures and just could not leave. In 1978 she worked as a photographer in the Kazan State Museum of Arts, and in 1979 was admitted to the Photo Artists Union of Lithuania. From 1980 to 1982 Lialia Kuznetsova was a reporter of the Evening Kazan newspaper, and after that she has been a freelance photographer, who has been documenting the Gypsy life for 30 over years.
From the mid 1980s Lialia Kuznetsova's photos were repeatedly exhibited in Europe and the United States, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. In 1997 she was awarded the Mother Jones Prize, Leica Medal of Excellence and the Grand Prix for her photo in Paris.
Lialia was a participant of the Interphoto Festival in Moscow of 1996 and a member of the legendary photo group TASMA that included Vladimir Zotov, Edward Hakimov, Rifkhat Yakupov, Farit Gubayev and many other photographers.

Tags: Lialia Kuznetsova Russian Photographers    

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