Shortlist 2021

Mary Gelman

Mary Gelman is a VII Photo Agency Member photographer based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2016 she graduated School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc. The most important part of her professional life is personal projects. She combines in the projects a strong personal approach with documentary and conceptual practices. Mary has been a winner of different competitions. She is the Leica Oskar Barnack Award recipient, Pictures of the Year, Portraits - Hellerau Photography Award, Istanbul Photo Awards, Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest.

The Compromise


Minya and Tatyana is a mature Russian couple with Down Syndrome; they live in a unique village called "Svetlana." Most residents of this village are people with special needs. This unique village tries to be a place non-stereotyped, give opportunities for all people, and believe in the potential of every person. They met each other in this village and fell in love in 2015. They cared and supported each other, spent free time together, worried about feelings and health. They called each other a wife and husband. Love for them is was not just something ordinary in life. It was an actual event and luck. Tatyana died recently because of COVID. Many people think that people with Down syndrome cannot love and do not understand what it is. However, that is 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 of what was surrounding her and what she was interested in. We are here as a team, where everyone has their voice.