World Press Photo 2022

Europe Honorable Mention

This is an intimate story about the love of a couple – Mr Minya and Ms Tatyana, both in their 50s – with Down syndrome in the social village of Svetlana, which is home to people with various mental differences, as well as their mentors and volunteers. Svetlana is not an asylum or a clinic. Every resident is valued as a person, and everyone works for the common good. The photographer 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. This is a collaborative project – the polaroids in the story were shot by Ms Tatyana herself.

 

Ms Tatyana enjoying the scent of a posy of flowers. She is one of the most independent people with Down syndrome living in Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, March 16, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman

Ms Tatyana consoling Mr Minya in their room as he recalls the death of his mother in Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, on March 14, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Svetlana residents rehearsing for a performance of The Little Prince, with Mr Minya as the King and Ms Tatyana as the Rose, on Oct 5, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Drawings made for the Svetlana residents’ production of The Little Prince, in a photograph taken by Ms Tatyana on Oct 13, 2020. Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Ms Tatyana hiding behind a towel while on a walk in Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Aug 7, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Mr Minya hugging Ms Natasha, one of his best friends. Mr Minya and Ms Tatyana call her their sister. A sense of home and family is important to them. Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Oct 6, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Mr Minya and Ms Tatyana holding hands. Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, March 15, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman
Ms Natasha, one of Mr Minya and Ms Tatyana’s best friends, portrayed here by Ms Tatyana. Svetlana, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Aug 10, 2020. Title: M+T © Mary Gelman

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.