Lys Arango

Spanish photographer, born in 1988
Lives in Paris (France)


With a degree in international relations and journalism, Lys Arango first worked in the fields of NGO communication and daily press before devoting herself to the development of documentary narratives mixing photographs, texts and sounds.
As an extension of her professional experiences, she considers her personal practice as a tool to bear witness to the reality of lives behind humanitarian crisis situations, and to promote their proper understanding beyond the traditional media relays.

Following a first work on child malnutrition in Guatemala, Lys Arango returns with MP#02 to the territory where her grandparents settled in the 1950s: the Asturias mining basin in Spain. With her series El rio bajaba negro (The river flowed black) she testifies to the recent industrial decline in the region, where the exploitation of the mine knows its last hours and, above all, the persistence of a working class memory.

“My grandparents moved to Asturias, Spain, in the 1950s. Coal mining was the engine of economic development there. Since then, the decline of the mining basins has left its mark on the landscape and the population. Rusty mining towers still stand while nature reclaims the space. In the villages, houses and shops have closed their shutters. Young people are leaving because of the lack of job opportunities and those who remain remember with nostalgia the years when the region attracted workers from all over Spain. Born in Madrid, far from these lands charged with the symbolism of the workers’ struggle, I wanted to return to the place where my paternal family was born, to photograph the end of an era and collect the stories of the last miners.”