||Gypsies: Free Spirits of the Open Steppe
This collection of photographs reveal a Russia most Westerners do not know, or might not believe still exists. Children playing on the tombs of a graveyard; families and friends gathering around a meal in scenes reminiscent of Brueghel's opulent paintings, gypsies preparing for festivities or rituals, posing, dancing or laughing. For the last 15 years Ljalja Kuznetsova has been documenting the people of her country with compassion and an understanding of their spirit. Her photographs from the Ukraine, Odessa, Kazan, Usbekistan and Turkemenistan bring to life the place and its people. She tells of myth and history, providing stories of humour, pride, and fortitude of character that has survived the cultural turmoil in the Soviet Union, and will hopefully resist the ongoing pressure in the changing Russian confederation.