Mayya Kelova
September 22, 2023
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Forgiving is a return to traumatic memories and experiences that I endured in my first romantic relationship more than a decade ago. Unprocessed, my trauma manifested in PTSD along with guilt and self-blame. By digitally manipulating images, I reshape and rework my archival materials to undo the simplified reality those photographs represent. Through photographing my body parts that often experience PTSD manifestations, I restore the connection between the events and the emotional upheaval.
Being the spectator and subject, I allow myself to look at the pain from an intimate distance to dissect the biggest challenge, which is to forgive myself.
This project is a history of my own voice, from the moment I lost it to the process of regaining it.

Mayya Kelova is a documentary and conceptual photographer from Turkmenistan, currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Mayya seeks to explore such topics as trauma, identity, and migration. Her photography work and film have been showcased in the UK, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Mayya graduated from Docdocdoc — the School of Contemporary Photography and has participated in international photography masterclasses, including Nikon-NOOR Academy and the VII Academy. In 2021, she became a member of Women Photograph.
Mayya Kelova
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