Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of Blessing Marie’s photos.
Our latest featured artist is N.Y.-based photographer Blessing Marie. She decided to share with us a collection of black & white portraits, the genesis of which she explains below. More of her work can be seen at blessingmarie.com.
Osmosis Online: Where were these images taken?
Blessing Marie: These portraits were taken in schools, orphanages and community centers in the Gomel region of Belarus. It is one of the closest Belarusian cities to the Chernobyl region. This area is still highly contaminated from the terrible Chernobyl tragedy, but to these families it has always been their home.
What was the inspiration for this project?
When I was in high school I went on a humanitarian trip to Russia and Belarus and fell in love with the people. Ever since then it was a dream of mine to go back and take portraits of the people and places I visited.
What did you take away from the experience?
I was humbled by the grace and generosity of all the people I met. Everyone was so kind. Complete strangers welcomed me into their homes to share a meal and share life experiences. Many of them I am still in contact with and we will be life-long friends.
What do you hope others will obtain from these images?
It is my desire that the viewer will be reminded of how connected and intertwined we all are. It doesn’t matter where you are from, we are all cut from the same cloth, but the beauty comes in all our different stories and unique experiences. It is my hope that through these portraits the viewer will be given a look into the people of Gomel, Belarus.