Mary Gelman, Russia

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 was built in 1994 and tries to be a place non-stereotyped,
gives opportunities to all people, and believes in the potential of every person.
Minya and Tatyana met each other in this village and fell in love in 2015. I saw how this couple developed and how they were happy with each other. They cared for and supported, spent free time together, and worried about feelings and health. They valued every minute with each other. They woke up and fall asleep together, drank tea, and hugs, and called each other a wife and husband.
Love for them is not just something ordinary in life, it is a real event and luck. Minya
worked as a baker with Tatyana, they helped other people with cooking and cleaning. They participated in different performances, drawings, 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. Tatyana died in spring this year because of COVID.

Discover more: Shortlist 2022