Iva first developed her photographic eye in Montreal, where she studied photography at Dawson College. But Dawson Collage teaches commercial photography, and in any case she found that she was more comfortable wandering the streets with her camera than being locked up in a studio.
Montreal's streets were not enough for her, however, so she started to travel to different places. She set out to document the lives of people who are persecuted or neglected. In 1998, during the war in Kosovo, she encountered the Czech NGO People in Need and since then has been contributing to their efforts with her work.
For Iva, it's very important to be involved in the environment that she is photographing; to be accepted by the people she photographs and to become one of them.
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Since the very beginning of Ukraine’s ongoing internal convulsion Iva Zimova has been visiting the country regularly and has travelled from East to West and from Kiev to Crimea, now under Russian control, documenting the effects of the complex situation on the lives of ordinary Ukrainians.