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In This Issue:
·Featured Photographer
·New 90-Day Free Trial
·New Features on SDN
·Competitions for Documentary Photographers

John Sevigny's Exhibits on SDN

John Sevigny

Nomads: Portraits of Central American Immigrants
Sevigny's newest addition to SDN is dedicated to his father, who spent a lifetime teaching his son that "cameras are only clever toys unless they're used to describe the human condition."

John Sevigny

Ladies' Bar
The product of more than 10 months of work in some of the roughest cantinas in Guadalajara, Mexico. This exhibit on SDN has received more than 8,000 visitors since created.

John Sevigny

Poverty in Monterrey, Mexico
A look at the dark side of Mexico's progressive  third largest city.

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Featured Photographer/March 29, 2009

John Sevigny: Addressing the Best and Worst of the Human Condition

John Sevigny"Two things that feed my work are evidence of violence and the beauty that survives thereafter. I try to get both in the same photograph, to go beyond documenting a place, a person or a problem and make more universal pictures that address the best and the worst of the human condition." 
                     -John Sevigny

SDN Advisory Committee member John Sevigny promotes local documentary projects, teaches photography, and volunteers at the human rights office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saltillo, a small city five hours south of the Texas border in Mexico, where he now lives.

Ladies Bar
"Las Pintas 1, 2006" From Ladies' Bar by John Sevigny.

A former photographer for the Associated Press and EFE News, Sevigny has exhibited his independent work in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco in the United States; in Monterrey, Saltillo and Zacatecas in Mexico; and in Lisbon, Portugal. His news photographs have appeared in The New York TimesDallas Morning NewsHouston ChronicleMontreal MirrorDallas Observer, El Nuevo Herald, People Magazine, and many other publications.

Sevigny has three exhibits on SDN that explore poverty, immigration, and treatment of women in Mexico. He also served as a creative advisor for the exhibit Passengers by Diana Castillo and Dariela Diaz about Central American women and their dangerous journeys on cargo trains from Mexico to the US. 

Gaining inspiration from the portraits that Lewis Hine took of Ellis Island immigrants one hundred years ago, Sevigny documents Latin American immigrants at the Belen Posada del Migrante Shelter in Saltillo, Mexico. These men are on their way to the US, but Sevigny says that many don't end up continuing north once they get to Saltillo. Instead, they return to their home countries, having found what they were searching for on the road. View exhibit.

Ladies' Bar
This exhibit is the product of more than 10 months of work in some of the roughest cantinas in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. These small bars are frequented by criminals, drug addicts, and aggressive drunks. Ladies' Bar focuses on the cantina women-prostitutes and paid drinking companions, serving as a metaphor for the treatment of women in Mexico.

"This is not a project, however, about victims. I've tried to capture the complexity of these women, their strengths, their weaknesses, their cruelties and their generosity, their excesses and their vulnerabilities...It's difficult to explain this project without talking about discrimination against women in Mexico," said Sevigny.

SDN Viewers of Ladies' Bar call it: 
"Raw, honest, intriguing, blatant, yet beautiful in its wonder. These photos contain the ambiguous moments in the lives of these women and their environment."

"They are captivating, compelling and they open the viewer to a world that is not often so blatantly present: the inner torment of the lost soul."

"One can see flashes of their experiences worn on their faces and imprinted on their bodies as well as the emptiness of opportunity. Lives torn from innocence, rough, ragged and intoxicated with misguided passion." View exhibit.

Poverty in Monterrey, Mexico
This exhibit documents the dark side of Monterrey, Mexico's most progressive and third largest city. One of Latin America's richest cities, Monterrey also is surrounded by mountaintop slums and abandoned neighborhoods.

"I go out of my way, not to save humanity, but to offer a mirror in which we can see who we really are... I hope to create small mirrors through which we can know ourselves better and take steps to improve our situation." View exhibit.

New! 90-Day Free Trial for All New Exhibits on SDN!
Now you can create exhibits on SocialDocumentary.net and the first 90 days are absolutely free. No credit card is required. We will send you reminders to renew your exhibit before the 90 days are up so that you can have the full benefits of a paid exhibit.

To begin creating an exhibit on SDN, click here to create a free membership. If you already have a membership, login to your account, and click on the link to create a new exhibit.

If you have a discount code, you can still take advantage of the 90-day free trial but the discount for payment must be applied prior to the expiration date on your coupon.

Other New Features for Photographers on SDN
  • All exhibits are now search engine optimized. SDN has added new features to make exhibits appear higher in Google and other search engine results. Now the photographer's name, the exhibit title, and the country where the photos were taken appear in the page title at the top of the browser. This information, along with the keywords that photographers enter when creating exhibits and the beginning of the exhibit abstract, appear in the page meta tags.
  • New tags field in exhibits. In all existing and new exhibits, photographers can now enter custom tags to make their exhibits found more easily in search engines. For existing exhibits, just login and go into the exhibit edit page. You will see a new field where you can add custom tags.
  • Browse photographers directly on SDN home page. Many photographers have asked us if we can add a feature to allow site visitors to find photographers directly from the home page. Now you can. On the right side of the SDN home page, you will find a new pull down menu listing all photographers with active exhibits. Just scroll down to the photographer you want to find, and you will be taken to their home page or a list of all of their exhibits (if a home page does not exist.) We urge all SDN exhibitors to create your free photographer home pages.
  • Coming soon. License your photographs directly from SDN. SDN and Ozmo.com have created a partnership to enable SDN photographers to license their photos directly from the SDN website. We expect to have this functionality in place by early April and will notify all members when this is available. Photographers can establish the fee for commercial licensing of the work and choose a license that best fits their needs. Buyers can find the work directly from SDN or from the Ozmo.com website. Photographers keep 70% of the fee (a much higher percentage than most online stock agencies.) Click here to read about the partnership.
New Contests for Documentary Photographers

Magnum Expression Photography Award Competition
HP, in collaboration with Magnum Photos, announced the Magnum Expression Photography Award international competition. Through the award, HP and Magnum aim to support the work of emerging and professional photographers, emphasizing the value of storytelling through the use of imagery.  The theme of this year's competition is "communities." From March 16-May 31, participants will be able to submit their entry via Magnum's website. Click for more information.  

Name Your Dream Assignment Contest
Lenovo and Microsoft have announced the Name Your Dream Announcement Contest. The contest is for photographers of all backgrounds and they're looking for the most creative, inspiring photo shoot idea out there. The photographer with the winning idea will win $50,000 to bring his or her dream assignment to life. Click for more information.

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 oil workers in the Niger River Delta, male sex workers in India, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece. Click here to view all of the exhibits.