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Featured Photographer/January 11, 2009

Janine Wiedel

Janine Wiedel"I am led mainly by my curiosity. The camera is my way of discovering and learning about people... First impressions are usually wrong. Long-term projects allow me to get beyond the stereotypes and preconceptions we all carry with us. This process of discovery is what fascinates and drives me." Janine Wiedel

Janine Wiedel already has photographs on her personal website of demonstrations this past week in England opposing the Israeli attack on Gaza. She is a frequent contributor to SocialDocumentary.net with ten exhibits, and has 8,000 images on her own site.
Wiedel was born in New York City and earned her art degree in California. She started her career photographing the Berkeley student riots and Black power struggles in the 1960s. Forty years later she is still photographing the struggles of ordinary people to demand their rights and for a tolerant and multicultural society.

Irish Tinkers by Janine Wiedel
From Irish Tinkers

Wiedel moved to England in the 70s and studied at the Guildford School of Photography. While in school she spent most of the three years traveling across Ireland photographing the Irish Travellers. The resulting book, Irish Tinkers (Latimer Press & St. Martins Press) uses a combination of words and photographs to bring insight to the often misunderstood lifestyle of this community. This was the beginning of her continuing passion for working on long-term projects.

Her next major project was documenting the industrial heartland of Britain with its last remaining coal mines, steel-mills and chain-making workshops--all have now disappeared.

Her recurring interests have been protest in its many forms and in subcultures that have managed to survive despite being on the margins of society. "I feel that documentary images are rarely 'stand alone' images. By interlinking words, photographs, and interviews into installations I feel one can begin to build up a more complete picture," states Wiedel.

Squatting the Street by Janine Wiedel
"Negusa Negast Community Centre" from Squatting the Street-London

Her most recent project is about people living on a squatted street in South London who were finally evicted after 30 years.

Multicultural Britain by Janine Wiedel
"Street Dancing" from Multicultural Britain

Over the years, she has built up an extensive photo library of social issues including: childbirth, education, youth, drugs, homelessness, disorder, and policing. To see her complete collection of nearly 8,000 searchable images, visit www. wiedel-photo-library.com. To see Wiedel's home page on SDN, click here.

SDN Seeks Work on the War in Gaza
SDN encourages photographers to submit work on the war between Israel and Hamas. There is a long and complex history to this war and we believe that documentary photography will help us understand this conflict better-- and particulary understand the people on both sides who are directly affected. We recognize that any exhibit will display biases, but as long as the exhibits are an honest attempt to explain the situation in a non-sensational manner, respectful of the subjects, and maintain a high level of technical and aesthetic quality, they will be considered for publication on the website.

Ed Kashi Joins SDN Advisory Council
Ed KashiSDN is honored to have Ed Kashi as our newest Advisory Council Member. Kashi is a world reknowned photographer, filmmaker, and educator. His awards include honors from Pictures of the Year International, World Press Foundation, Communication Arts and American Photography. Kashi's editorial assignments and personal projects have generated four books. His most recent books include Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and Three, both published by powerHouse Books.

New Feature: Exhibitors' Home Pages
All exhibitors on SocialDocumentary.net now have an option to create their own home page with a custom URL, biography, photo, contact info, and a list of their exhibits on SDN. For a sample of a photographer's home page, see Daniel Miller's.

About this Weekly Spotlight
Each week we send this spotlight to our list of photographers, editors, journalists, educators, and people who are interested in documentary photography and learning more about the world. Please forward this email to your colleagues using the link below.

About SocialDocumentary.net
SocialDocumentary.net is a new website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore documentary websites investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored gang violence in Baltimore, faces of Turkey, deforestation in Honduras, and aboriginal Australia. Click here to view all of the exhibits.