Aino Väänänen is an award-winning photographer and visual storyteller, with a focus on long-term documentary photography. Her work often seeks a point of contact with places and people who have been marginalised, existing at the edges of the mainstream in one way or another. To this end her art explores themes of injustice, looking at misrepresentation, empathy and rebellion.
Aino has photographed a variety of subjects, from environmental and social change in rural northern Finland (Vanishing Point) to women living with HIV and addiction in Romania (Dandelions) and the struggles of LGBTIQ+ communities in Russia (Love and Other Truths). Through her work, she endeavours to capture both the vulnerability and dignity of her subjects and their stories.
Aino’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in London, Moscow and other Russian cities. In 2021 she published the first issue of independent photo zine We Shall See, and in the same year was chosen to participate in the renowned Nikon-NOOR Academy’s masterclass. She is currently based on the island of Hailuoto in northern Finland, where she also works as a photography teacher and freelance photographer for various publications.