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Media Advisory
February 3, 2010

Contact for reviews, interviews, high resolution photographs:
Barbara Ayotte,bayotte@socialdocumentary.net; 617.549.0152 or
Glenn Ruga, glenn@socialdocumentary.net; 978-453-2139, 617-417-5981 (c),
Photographers Tomasz Tomaszweski and Michael McElroy will be present at opening reception.
Press Interviews 6:30-7pm, Feb. 16, or by appointment.

Presented by SocialDocumentary.net

  Featuring Work by SocialDocumentary.net Call for Entries Winners:
First Prize Winner: Tomasz Tomaszewski (Poland)
Honorable Mentions:  Khaled Hasan (Bangladesh), Shiho Fukada (Japan), and Michael McElroy (USA)
WHERE: powerHouse Arena, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY
              Exhibition runs February 16-March 14, 2010
WHEN:   Opening Reception and Panel Discussion
              February 16, 2010, 6:30-9:00 pm. Open to the public.
              Press interviews: 6:30-7:00 pm or by appointment.
WHAT: Opening Reception and Panel Discussion: "The Role of Photography in Addressing Critical Issues Facing Our World"
Ed Kashi & Tomasz Tomaszewski: Photographers
Irene Khan: Board member, Center for Economic and Social Rights, and former Secretary General of Amnesty International
Leora Kahn: co-founder, Proof: Media for Social Justice

Moderated by: Glenn Ruga, SDN Founder and Director
"These four exhibits have given us greater insight into how the global recession is affecting individuals across our world", said Glenn Ruga, SDN Founder and Director. "The winning photographers document how the economic crisis is affecting manual labor in heavy industry in Poland, stone workers trying to survive in Bangladesh; elderly men in Japan who were day laborers but are now losing their jobs; and healthcare and the loss of the American dream."  Click here to view all exhibition entries.
Judges included:  Award winning photographers Lori Grinker, Ed Kashi, Lucian Perkins, and Shahidul Alam; Craig Cohen of powerHouse Books; and Whitney Johnson, Photo Editor of the New Yorker magazine.

First Place Winner


Photographs by Tomasz Tomaszewski

Tomasz Tomaszewski
The Labendy Factory was once a flagship of Polish heavy industry. Today it has
lost more than 70% of its workers. Photo by Tomasz Tomaszewski

Specializing in press photography, Tomasz Tomaszewski has had his photos published in the world's major magazines appearing in several dozen countries: Stern, Paris Mach, Geo, New York Times, Time, US News & World Report, and numerous others. He has also authored a number of books - including Remnants, The Last Jews of Poland; Gypsies, The Last Once; In Search of America; and has co-illustrated over a dozen collective works. His numerous individual exhibitions have been held in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Japan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Poland. He is the winner of Polish and international awards for photography. For over twenty years, he has been a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine, where 18 of his photo essays have been published. Tomaszewski teaches photography in Poland, the U.S., Germany, and Italy.
This series of photographs, Hades ?, was taken from March through August 2009. Tomaszewski's pays homage to people performing hard manual labor, the workers who once were very proud of their positions and are now losing their jobs due to changes in the global economy from the recession.
Tomaszewski chose Upper Silesia, Poland, where the work ethos, traditions, and related customs are most alive and colorful. In recent years, half of the existing coal mines in this region were shut down, as well as 70% of the heavy industry. Very little is done by the state to help those who have lost their jobs.

Click here to view the exhibit.

Honorable Mentions

End of Labor: Dumping Ground of Old Men in Japan
Photographs by Shiho Fukada

Shiho Fukada
A man plays pachinko in Osaka, Japan. Photo by Shiho Fukada

"It's a sad tale told with clarity, visual intelligence and emotion."
             -Ed Kashi, Judge and SDN Advisor
Shiho Fukada is a freelance photographer based in Beijing. She is a native of Tokyo with a degree in English literature, and worked in the fashion and advertising industries in New York before becoming a photojournalist in 2004. Her work has been featured in numerous publications internationally including the New York Times. She moved to Beijing in February 2009.
Once a thriving day laborer's town in Osaka, Kamagasaki today is home to about 25,000 mainly elderly day laborers, with an estimated 1,300 who are homeless. It used to be called a "laborer's town" but now it's called a "welfare town," a dumping ground of old men. Alcoholism, poverty, street death, suicide, TB and most of all, loneliness, prevail here. These men don't have family ties and live and die alone as social outcasts from the mainstream "salary man" culture. Labor towns, like Kamagasaki, are on the verge of extinction in Japan. According to the most recent government report, Japan's economy, the world's second largest, is deteriorating at its worst pace since the oil crisis of the 1970s, setting off more unemployment among the young and educated and layoffs among large corporations. It is even more hopeless for graying men of the construction industry here to find work.

Click here to view the exhibit.

Living Stone: A community losing its life
Photographs by Khaled Hasan

Khaled Hasan
Alfaj Hossain is a stone collector living in Banglabazar, two and a half kilometers
from Jaflong. He either walks or takes a boat ride from his home to work. Every
day he collects three boats full of stones and earns 150 taka ($2.17) per boat.
Photo by Khaled Hasan

Born in 1981, Khaled Hasan began his career as a photographer in 2001. He is a graduate of the South Asian Institute of Photography. His goals have always been to document a culture with his photographs and to be a messenger of the community.
He works as a freelance photographer and has been published in Sunday Times Magazine, American Photo, National Geographic Society, Better Photography, Saudi Aramco World Magazine and others. His awards include the 2008 All Roads Photography Program of National Geographic Society; Alexia Foundation Student Award (Award of Excellence);  2009, Grand Prix winner of "Europe and Asia - Dialogue of Cultures" organized by Museum of Photography (Russia); Mark Grosset Documentary Prize 2009 exhibited in Les Promenades Photographiques Festival 2009 in France, and others. His photographs have also been exhibited widely around the world.
This story is about a hard working community of Jaflong located on the northeastern part of Bangladesh. At dawn every day, more than a hundred little boats with laborers enter the Piyain River, buckets and spades in hand. This is one trade which has a geological limit. The stones that tumble down the riverbed from India are decreasing in volume and the laborers are already taking the risk of invading the no-man's land along the Indo-Bangla border, a contested area between Bangladesh and India. Many laborers were killed by Indian Border Security Force in that area. More than 5,000 men, women and child stone-laborers are engaged here. Uncontrolled and unstoppable, stone extracting and crushing at Jaflong has been posing a serious threat to public health, and to the environment and agriculture in the area.

Click here to view exhibit.

An American Nightmare
Photographs by Michael McElroy

Michael McElroy
Michael comforts his wife Sheryl during her monthly chemo treatment.
Photo by Michael McElroy

"A very touching, memorable story that brings the issue of healthcare and the impact of the recession to the forefront, " said Lori Grinker, judge and SDN Advisor
Michael F. McElroy is a contract photojournalist based in Miami, FL and represented by Zuma and Wonderful Machine. His work encompasses news, portraits, documentary and urban landscapes. McElroy spent 2008 covering the presidential elections and in 2009 he has been working on stories about the economic crisis and how it affects people and the American landscape.

His work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, Monocle, Wallpaper, Revue,The Guardian, Associated Press, Black Enterprise, Ad Week, Esquire, Zoo Weekly and other national and international magazines.

His awards include Pictures of the Year, Ernest Haas Awards, American Photo, Society for News Design Annual Creative Competition, Editor & Publisher, Communication Arts Photo Annual, and Atlanta Photojournalism.

McElroy's winning exhibit, An American Nightmare, focuses on the problem of affordable healthcare in the U.S. and loss of dignity. Across the country more and more people are falling through the cracks, losing their homes, jobs, and healthcare. There was a time when we believed in the American dream and the pursuit of a better life. Unfortunately that dream has become a nightmare for countless families who have seen everything they've worked so hard for slowly slip away.  Howard Mallinger is one of those Americans whose dream has been shattered. This is his story.

Click here to view exhibit.

About SDN

SocialDocumentary.net (SDN) uses the power of photography to promote global awareness. SDN's members include photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students who 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. SDN was launched in October 2008. Glenn Ruga is the founder. SDN is based in Lowell, MA www.socialdocumentary.net