“What is Home? Why you should travel with Ayzoh!

The photographic journeys and participatory reportages offered by Ayzoh! aim to represent the intertwining, consolidation, and integration of our differences through diverse conditions, cultures, and latitudes.

We don’t seek the “exotic” and we never use the words “ethnic” or “tribal”… all deeply outdated concepts. Nor are we interested in creating “beautiful photos”: too easy. Much less do we claim to teach: too many already do.

We take you in search of something else entirely: to make tangible — by immersing ourselves in it — the familiar that unites us and the extraordinary that sets us apart. We don’t teach anything, but we show you how it’s done so that you can do it with us, beforehand, or on your own, afterward.

Who are our trips dedicated to

Some of Ayzoh!’s community photography projects are open to photographers, journalists, bloggers, documentarians, researchers, humanitarian workers, or simple travelers who — supported by our professionals — want to learn (or improve) the narrative process and techniques necessary to tell the spirit of a place and a community.

What we seek

We want to understand what elements — in the 21st century — are still capable of conveying a true sense of community, that feeling that arises from belonging to a place or a group but, in order not to reduce itself to a ghetto, is nurtured by recognizing the uniqueness and irreplaceability of every human being.

A feeling that paradoxically — while globalization makes everything more interconnected — seems to give way to an ideology that sees humans as fearful individuals in need of increasingly cramped enclosures to feel protected and safe.

Each of us is called to become a free spirit just as every rose seed is called to become a rose. [Rudolf Steiner]

Where this happens, the result is that the Other and the Elsewhere are supplanted by the Uniform, and communities transform into closed circles: bubbles inhabited by timid, aggressive, resentful, sad individuals, constantly seeking immediate gratification and, therefore, trivial.

Hence, in the so-called “West,” there arises the proliferation of countless “coaches” — self-proclaimed “life masters” — and the success of a supermarket psychology that trivializes every word it touches. These two phenomena are creating an army of desperate individuals, incapable of distinguishing between their Dream (understood as dáimōn) and the greatest of imposed illusions: “happiness” at all costs, a concept that serves those who want us all weaker, more fearful, anxious, and hence, more controllable.

Every journey with Ayzoh! is an act of resistance against this destructive trend. This resistance is expressed through community photography: participatory reportages where photography transcends technique — and all the chatter surrounding it — to become a useful tool for growing together, giving each other strength, and not forgetting that we are nothing without the support of others and shared dreams.

The meaning of the world

One of the great fortunes of those who do a job like ours is being able to take anything that happens to us — ugly or beautiful, sad or happy — and turn it into art or story. This helps us understand, know, and discern.

We can imagine new worlds and, perhaps, discover that they exist: thanks to small communities and people who open doors, soul, and heart, photography allows us to go beyond the lines of conformism, moralism, and egocentrism of the era we live in.

Immersing ourselves in their stories, standing by their side in the battles they fight, sharing joys and pains allows us — if we have the humility to listen sincerely — to use photography as a friend who pushes us to give our best to turn what is given to us into a great story to share with others.

For this reason, every journey always results in publications (which travelers can create with us) where images are often used symbiotically with words that — besides telling the stories we are immersed in — borrow heavily from literature, poetry, anthropology, economics, sociology, and psychology, as well as neuroscience and evolutionary biology.

This is the essence of our journeys: to bring the action of storytelling back to its original meaning of “building a sense of the world” with the intention of rediscovering and recognizing — starting from local experiences and narratives — the breath of universality and the values that connect all human beings beyond the diversities that permeate us.

So, what is Home?

Traveling, exploring, photographing, and telling stories with Ayzoh! therefore means paying homage to those who act to defend their own dignity — along with that of every human being — to those who are seeking positive change for all, to those who create shared value, to those who build accessible beauty.

Every gesture, every story becomes a brick that supports an ideal of commonality among differences, and thus, a potential for far-reaching transformation.

It’s not a utopia: the humanities and the arts have reminded us for centuries of how naturally empathetic, social, and collaborative humans can be. They also have the ability to create just and thriving societies.

Continuing to believe in this is the only way to embrace our uniqueness both within and outside our numerous tribes: we believe this is the only way to truly feel free, on the path to self-realization and — at the same time — safe, together. This is Home.