The archive contains the portfolio of photographer Lyalya Kuznetsova, who is from Tatarstan. The most important part consists of around 100 handmade prints from the series Kazan (1978–1996), From the Life of Gypsies (Uralsk, 1979, 1987; Odessa, 1990–1992), Uzbekistan (1992–2008), and Turkmenia (1996, 1998). The archive also includes documents relating to the photographer’s career: invitations to exhibitions, press releases, autobiographies, and a vast collection of articles from the Soviet, Russian, and international press on exhibitions that Kuznetsova took part in.
Part of the archive consists of digital materials transferred to Garage on DVD and shows the body of photographic work produced by Kuznetsova during expeditions and while shooting portraits, including as a fashion photographer. It also contains Kuznetsova’s family archive, documentation of her travels abroad, and documentary films and videos in which she appears.
Lyalya Kuznetsova (b. 1946, Uralsk, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic) graduated from Kazan Aviation Institute in 1972. Left alone with a young daughter after the death of her husband in 1977, she turned to photography. As an independent photographer, she travelled to the Ural steppes, Odessa, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, where she photographed gypsy settlements, wandering artists, Bukharan Jews, and scenes from the everyday life of people belonging to different traditions. In parallel, in 1978 she began working as a photographer at the Tatarstan Museum of Fine Art in Kazan. In the 1980s she was a reporter for the newspaper Vechernyaya Kazan and other periodicals, and from 1984 to 1988 she worked as a photographer at the republic’s House of Fashion. She has been a member of Tasma Photographers’ Club (Kazan) since 1977, the Union of Journalists of Tatarstan since 1987, and the Union of Artists of Russia since 1994. She has taken part in exhibitions since 1979. In 1989 she had her first solo exhibition at the Photographic Artists’ Union Gallery in Vilnius.
In the early 1980s, Kuznetsova began to be known in the West. In 1988 she took part in the photographic symposium Between the Elbe and the Volga in Munich. After showing her work in the exhibition Changing Reality: Recent Soviet Photography at Corcoran Gallery in Washington, she received an invitation to a reception at the White House from George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara. In 1997 she received a Leica Medal of Excellence from the Mother Jones Documentary Photo Fund.