Mary Gelman

Mary Gelman
(b.1994) Mary Gelman is a documentary photographer and sociologist from St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2016 she graduated the school of modern photography «DocDocDoc» (Saint - Petersburg) and was a participant in various international and local workshops. She works as a photojournalist and teacher. The most important part of her professional life is personal projects. Mary has been a winner of different competitions. She is a winner of the «Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2018», Istanbul Photo Awards, Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest and so on.
St. Petersburg
Artist Statement
First of all, for me photography is about research. I approach my photo projects as full visual studies, and each of them requires deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. That's why I always try to investigate the topic deeper before shooting - and after. I studied sociology, and this part of my background has a great impact on my photography. I find it important to fully immerse in the topic, to live through it myself. Most often, I try to engage my audience in a conversation about important social issues that worry me personally, as well as ways of addressing them. In my personal projects I usually explore such topics as gender, body, boundaries, discrimination, human/environment communication. The subjects of my stories are mainly people or communities who do not have a voice to be heard, who are invisible or ignored by the government and the society. For me it's fundamental to bond with my subjects. I'm very open and respectful to the people I photograph. I try to be as attentive and sensitive as possible with them.
Key projects
Installation views
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