Dima Galin is from Uzghorod, in Western Ukraine, but is currently living in Kyiv, the capital of the Ukraine. While he is a professional videographer, the most important thing about him is that he cannot imagine his life without a camera in his hands. If he is not filming a video, he is taking photos. Dima especially loves street photography.
As part of a Jewish Culture Festival in Uzhgorod, Dima and team members Ivan Novikov, Nikita Didenko, Ekateryna Karelshtein, Valeriy Pinchuk and Yaron Muravyov visited a Roma neighborhood close to where he grew up. Typically, Ukrainians have negative stereotypes about the Roma community, and his friends worried that it might be unsafe for them to go. In Dima’s words:
When we arrived, we met a Roma activist named Andriy who invited us to his house for coffee. We took and printed the first photo here for Dog Meets World. Soon, word spread about what were doing and people started coming – children, their parents and grandparents, even their dogs. They all asked us to take their photographs, and soon, we were surrounded by a big group.
We talked to people of different ages. They shared about their lives with us, told us about the injustice that they face in their everyday life. It’s hard to believe that we were afraid when we arrived, and that we found it hard to leave because we were all hugging and taking selfies. More and more community members came to ask us to take photos, even after we had no more paper left to print them. We promised that we would come back soon.
It was a life changing experience for us. My friends and I now see the Roma community in a completely different way than before, and I hope that these photos inspire others to question their own prejudices. Thank you Dog Meets World for the opportunity to participate in this amazing project.
Best Foto of the Week!
Praise for DMW
"Participating in Dog Meets World was a truly magical experience, bringing joy and wonderment to all I met."
John Carr, Phodographer across South America
"Dog Meets World unleashes the power of photography as a diplomatic and personal tool in building connections among the people of the world. It embeds a memory in photographer and subject alike."
Prof. Patrick Fleming, Fulbright scholar & Phodographer Cambodia & Kyrgzystan
"You will never know just how important that photo will be long after it is taken and given."
Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner Jacksonville Jaguars
"Dog Meets World went over fabulously in my village. It is a perfect option for Peace Corps volunteers like myself. I like the Foto dog mascot, kids like it, and it is a representation of the peace and the ideas of the project."
Kristen Woodruff, Phodographer Costa Rica
"The kids are absolutely loving Dog Meets World. For a majority, these were the first images of themselves that they have ever owned."
Marti Johnson, Phodographer Uganda