Maria Muzalevskaya

Maria Muzalevskaya is a Russian documentary photographer whose work explores the social political issues and personal stories. Born in Russia in 1990, she got her master’s degree in Boston University with the major in International Relations. She has recently finished her Documentary and Visual Journalism program at International School of Photography. Her ongoing project is about political refugees in Russia who fled their homeland because of political, social and religious unfreedom. Her work was published on such media platforms as afisha.ru, colta.ru, FAYN magazine, Voice of America, pravoslavie.ru. Her project, ‘fifth wave’ was recently exhibited in Soho Photo Gallery in New York, NY

Fifth wave is project comprised of environmental portraits Russian LGBT immigrants who fled Russia for political and social freedom after 2012, when Vladimir Putin reclaimed power. Unlike some other recent upsurges of immigration, these Russian immigrants represent a new type of emigrant who have fled their homeland in search of political and social freedom: young, educated, and with no post-Soviet nostalgia.  
The project also covers stories of LGBT immigrants who escaped discrimination, stigmatization, and life-threatening conditions.
According to a report from the Atlantic Council, 1.6 to 2 million Russians have left for the western democracies since Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency. In that time, the Russian parliament introduced new proposals to accelerate the crackdown on the LGBT community by providing the authority to terminate the parental rights of individuals raising children with same-sex partners. And just last year, a new wave of gay persecution marked by detainment, harassment, and murder began in Chechnya.
 This work gives participants a chance to talk openly about what remained for many years hidden.