Photo Stories about Small Communities

March 21, 2024
13:00–14:15PM EDT
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Young girls prepare to perform the Bulgarian custom "Lazaruvane" in the village of Kubey, Ukraine. Photo by Mihaela Aroyo

This series showcases recent work from members of VII Community.

Every few months, VII Insider invites photographers from VII Community to present their stories. In this episode, we look at three photography projects that document life in small communities.

VII Community provides ongoing education and support to a network of VII Academy alumni and Foundry Photojournalism Workshop participants. VII Community is a program of The VII Foundation in partnership with PhotoWings.

We are delighted to be joined by Peruvian photographer Francisco Vigo, who will present his project “Soon the Rain Will Come”, capturing the Porcón community located next to the Yanacocha mine, one of the most important mines in Peru.

Ksenia Ivanova, a Russian photographer currently based in Georgia, will discuss her series “Between the Trees”, offering insight into the Russian-occupied breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Bulgarian photographer Mihaela Aroyo will showcase “Dreaming in Bulgarian”, giving voice to the Bulgarian diaspora living in the historical region of Bessarabia within Moldova and Ukraine.

The event will be moderated by VII contrinuting photographer Anush Babajanyan.

José Isabel is from Chilimpampa, Porcón, a small community located next to the Yanacocha mine. Photo by Francisco Vigo
Shamil Kurt-Ogly,16, poses for a portrait with rabbits that he raises for food near his semi-abandoned house in the former mining village of Akarmara, Abkhazia in Georgia. Photo by Ksenia Ivanova.


Armenian photographer Anush Babajanyan focuses her work on social narratives and personal stories. In addition to working extensively in the Caucasus, she photographs in Central Asia and around the world.
Francisco Vigo is a Peruvian visual storyteller residing in Cajamarca. His debut project, “Qayaqpuma,” is a visual exploration of the mountain of the same name and has been showcased in exhibitions in Peru and Shanghai. In 2017, he self-published a photo book about this project. Vigo is an alumnus of the VII Academy.
Ksenia Ivanova is a Russian documentary photographer currently based in Georgia. Her work focuses on violence and trauma and have been published in numerous media outlets such as 6Mois, Der Spiegel, and The Washington Post. Ivanova also frequently contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, The Washington Post, and GEO France. Ivanova is an alumnus of the VII Academy.
Mihaela Aroyo is a documentary photographer from Varna, Bulgaria. In her work, she explores themes such as cultural identity, history, folklore, environment, and personal stories. Her series have been published in The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Die Zeit. Aroyo is an alumnus of the VII Academy.

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