Love in a Village for Special Needs

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In The Guardian’s “My Best Shot” series, photographers reveal the fascinating stories behind their favorite work. This week, Mary Gelman was interviewed about her long-term personal project “Svetlana.”

“From the moment I first arrived, in 2016, I fell in love with the atmosphere of this place – the goodness, the openness, the honesty, the acceptance. The residents with special needs were so inspiring. At the same time though, precisely what their needs were – what illness or condition they live with – was unimportant. In Svetlana, everyone is different, and valued as such. I always found it a little easier to breathe there.”