Mary Gelman

2020 - Ongoing

This intimate story is about the love between an old couple with Down Syndrome in Russian unique village called "Svetlana". Most residents of this village a people with special needs. This special village built in 1994 and try to be a place non-stereotyped, give opportunities for all people, and believe in the potential of every person.

Minya and Tatyana met each other in this village and fell in love in 2015. They are more than 50 years old. I saw how this couple has developed and how they happy to be with each other. They care and support, spend free time together, worry about feelings and health. They value every minute with each other. They wake up and fall asleep together, drink tea, hugs, and call each other as a wife and husband. It is a great happiness for them.

Love for them is not just something ordinary in life, it is a real event and luck. Minya works as a baker with Tatyana, they help other people with cooking and cleaning. They participate in different performances, draw, and so on.

Many people think that people with Down syndrome can't love and they don't understand what is it. But that's not true, love has no limitations.

This story consists of two parts. The first part is my images, and the second part is Tatiana's images. I taught her to take pictures in Polaroid. Tatiana took pictures what is surround her and what she is interested in. Sometimes Minya also took photos. I didn't interfere in the process and didn't control them. We are here as a team, where everyone has own voice.

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  • Tatyana

  • Portrait of Minya by Tatyana

  • Tatyana comforted Minya in her room because he lost his mother recently and often remembers her

  • Tanya and Minya were making a bread in a bakery

  • This is the hay next to the bakery in the village

  • Minya and Tatyana were sitting at the table after the bible evening in the village.

  • Minya and Tatyana at the party in the village "Svetlana", it was the birthday of one of the guys

  • Bed linen is on the street in the village "Svetlana"

  • Minya and Tatyana are kissing in their room. They began to live together

  • Tatyana washes dishes at the bakery

  • Natasha is an one of the best friend of Tatyana

  • This was a rehearsal of the play "The Little Prince" in the village. Minya was in the role of king

  • This a part of a rehearsal of the play "The Little Prince".

  • Minya is sitting in his room with is a friend of Natasha are sitting in his room

  • This is a chapel near the village, almost every Sunday residents walk to this place

  • Tanya's portrait, which she drew herself

  • The greenhouse with plants at night in the village

  • The globe is in the library, picture by Tatyana

  • This is the hands of Minya and Tatyana at the table