Ljalja Kuznetsova. Photographer

Ljalja Kuznetsova is a world-famous photographer and one of the very few people who was allowed to document daily life in the gypsy community. She did it not from the outside, but she challenged stereotypes, focusing on their inner world. This is a very closed community and it took her many years to win their trust and be let in.

Separately, it should be noted that this happened in the late 70’s in the USSR, whose official policy was aimed at eradicating the nomadic lifestyle. Therefore the challenges Ljalja Kuznetsova was facing were enormous, as the gypsies were simply afraid to let any unknown person inside their community, expecting that repression against them might follow.

Kuznetsova filmed a lot inside the community, particularly some of the last gypsy camps in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and even in the Odessa steppes. And then she released a photo book, the preface to which was written by famous Magnum photographer Inge Morath.

Now Ljalja Kuznetsova makes rare public appearances, and therefore I was bound to attend her workshop because there is always something to learn from her.


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© Sasha Krasnov


  1. Sasha, Thank you for this information about Ljalja Kuznetsova. I recently acquired her book about the Roma near her–an amazing, beautiful book. Very helpful as I am doing a project on Roma in Greece. Do you know if she still gives workshops?

    Also, thank you for information in your blog about using Liquid Light emulsion. Using your instructions, I have made many prints on paper and glass with great success.

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Beatrice,
      Thank you for visiting my website and for this message.
      I have this book also, it’s amazing! Ljalja Kuznetsova permanently lives in Kazan and comes to Moscow from time to time as far as I know. But she gives workshops very rarely now, unfortunately.
      I’m so happy to hear about your success with Liquid Light Emulsion! It also gives me the confidence to continue melting liquid light emulsion! Thank you very much!

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