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This collaborative project portrays Minya and Tatyana, a couple with Down syndrome in their 50s, living in the social village of Svetlana, near St Petersburg in Russia. Mary Gelman has visited Svetlana and stayed there for a few days every two months since 2016 and feels it has become a part of her life. She taught Tatyana to take photographs and the polaroids in the story were shot by her.

Svetlana is home to around 40 people with various mental differences, with their mentors and volunteers. It is part of the international Camphill Movement, in which residential communities provide support for the education, employment, and daily lives of people with developmental disabilities and other special needs. Every resident is valued, and everyone works for the common good. Minya and Tatyana worked as bakers and also helped with cooking and cleaning. They enjoyed painting and performing in plays. Tatyana died after contracting COVID-19, in the spring of 2021.


This project was awarded World Press Photo in 2022, Stenin Contest Grand Prix in 2021, and has been exhibited in Europe.

Horizontal images are available in
90x60 (500$), 70x50 (300$), 40x30 (200$)

Vertical images are available in

60x90 (500$), 50x70 (300$), 30x40 (200$)

+ $ for transportation


Only signed prints

We negotiate in advance the final details and sizes

If you have questions please contact me before ordering:  

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