Mayya Kelova is a Turkmen-Georgian documentary and conceptual photographer, born and raised in Turkmenistan. She explores trauma, identity, and migration in her work. 

Mayya graduated from the School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc and has participated in international photography festivals and masterclasses, including Nikon-NOOR Academy and the VII Academy. In 2021, she became a member of Women Photograph.

She has collaborated as a writer and photographer with non-profit organizations and media outlets. Her works have been published in Novaya Gazeta, UN Women, VII, Tirana Times, Georgia Today, and The Puls. 

About. Mayya Kelova photographer

Awards & mentions

2021 | Selected participant at the Nikon-NOOR Academy 2021
2019 | VII workshop scholarship recipient 
2016 | NOOR-Nikon masterclass scholarship recipient  


2022 | 139 Documentary Center, NeUyat Group Exhibition, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, project “forgiving” 
2022 | Open Art House, Pop-Up Group Exhibition, Tbilisi, Georgia
2018 | “Love. Captured” group exhibition,  British International Academy, Budapest, Hungary
2013 | “Hope for Cherry Blossom” solo show, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria


2019 | Moving Worlds, United Kingdom, film “ANYAK
2018 | Researcher’s Night, Central European University Budapest, Hungary, film “ANYAK
2018 | Festival of Migrant Film, Slovenia, film “ANYAK
2018 | Art IN Academia, Central European University Budapest, Hungary, film “ANYAK

Artist talks & other initiatives

2022 | Author’s excursion, art mediation at the NeUyat Group Exhibition, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2021 | Guest Speaker, “Women in Various Fields,” open dialogue by the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan
2020 | Storytelling through documentary photography, online seminar, Turkmenistan
2020 | Artist talk for journalism students, University of Central Asia
2019 | Speaker at the panel: Creating Multimedia Content for Positive Social Change, World Learning Alumni TIES, Almaty, Kazakhstan


2019-2022 | School of Modern Photography Docdocdoc, Saint Petersburg, Russia
2016-2017 | Central European University, MA Human Rights, Budapest, Hungary 
2008-2013 | American University in Bulgaria, BA Journalism


2021 | Nikon-NOOR Academy with Sanne De Wilde, Pep Bonet, and Jon Lowenstein (online)
2019 | VII agency workshop with Sara Terry, Linda Bournane, Nichole Sobecki, Sarajevo BiH
2016 | Nikon-NOOR Academy with Benedicte Kurzen, Sebastian Liste, and Yuri Kozyrev, Almaty,              Kazakhstan