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Mary Gelman, Svetlana

In her personal projects, such as “Svetlana”, Mary Gelman specialises in issues such as sexual identity, sexuality, violence and discrimination.
Mary Gelman was born in St. Petersburg in 1994, where she attended DocDocDoc Photography School. Her work has appeared in different Russian media, including and, as well as international publications such as the Washington Post and Buzzfeed. In 2017 she won first place at the Istanbul Photo Awards in the Portraits category.

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Lisa with a donkey. The volunteer has been living at the Svetlana community for two years.
Cellar for storing home-grown vegetables. The villagers live off subsistence farming.
Vasya works on the farm. He often asks questions to which he knows the answers.
Vika has Down Syndrome. She makes herself understood with sounds and gestures.
Julia had meningitis when she was a child. She is unable to read or write.
Minya’s 50th birthday. In letters he imagines himself to be the village’s deputy director.
Julia walks through the village in the evening. The houses were built by the residents.
The villagers adore Amir for his inner strength, his independence and his kind heart.
Minya and Tanya are a couple. Minya calms Tanya down after a loud quarrel one day.
A chapel near the village. Some of the residents visit the chapel on a regular basis.
Raya likes to tell jokes but is also easily shy with strangers.
The village is surrounded by woods and fields. You have to ask to find the way there.