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Exhibit  of winners of Call for Entries
Through March 14
powerHouse Arena
Brooklyn, NY

Call for Entries Winners
Tomasz Tomaszewski
Khaled Hasan
Shiho Fukada
Michael McElroy

Exhibition catalog now available. Click here.



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SPOTLIGHT/ February 21, 2010

Ordinary Lives
Women and Children in the Middle East
Photographs by Rania Matar

Rania Matar
Open Window, Bourj El Shamali Camp, Tyre, 2005. Photo by Rania Matar.

The focus of Rania Matar's photography is on the people of the Middle East -- especially women and children. Whereas the media typically covers terrorism, bombings, and kidnappings, the large majority of the inhabitants are just ordinary people going on with their everyday lives.

The images selected in this exhibit are from three interrelated bodies of work: The Aftermath of War, a photographic essay of life in Lebanon after the numerous wars the country has gone through, The Veil: Modesty, Fashion, Devotion or Statement studying the relatively recent spread of the veil and its meanings among Muslim women in Lebanon, and The Forgotten People portraying life in the decaying Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon.

About the Photographer
Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon. After studying architecture at American University in Beirut, Rania left Lebanon in 1984 and completed her training at Cornell University in the United States. She studied photography at the New England School of Photography and at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico with Magnum photographer Constantine Manos, and eventually gave up her career as an architect to work as a freelance photographer.

Ordinary LivesOrdinary Lives, a monograph of Matar's work, conveys the many facets of life; acknowledging the undeniable presence of war and tragedy, yet celebrating the strength, dignity, and humanity of lives lived amidst the rubble, in refugee camps, or behind the veil. For more information and to purchase.

Click here to view the exhibit.
The Protest of TEKEL Laborers
Grassroots Labor Movement in Turkey
Photographs by
Erdem Donuktan

Erdem Donuktan
Laborers from the TEKEL factory gathering at Sihhiye Square for a meeting. Photo by Erdem Donuktan.

Turkish State Liquor and Tobacco Monopoly (TEKEL) laborers protested in Ankara against the government's policies about their rights as workers from December 13, 2009 to the end of February 2010. After the privatization of the TEKEL factories in 2002, some laborers were obliged either to quit their jobs or accept work in another state institution with lower wages and fewer benefits. This was the first labor movement in Turkey that was organized from the grassroots without the involvement of the industrial unions.

Click here to view the exhibit.
Harijan: The Sons of God
"Untouchables" in Bangladesh
Photographs by Wahid Adnan

Wahid Adnan
A young "untouchable" sweeper is performing as Krisna in Krishnaleela (affair between Krisna and Radha). Photo by Wahid Adnan.

They pick up garbage, sweep the streets, clean the gutters, load and unload the garbage trucks. They are "achuta", or untouchable; members of a particular caste that sit at the very bottom of traditional Hindu community. In India, Mahatma Gandhi gave the name 'Harijan' or 'the son of God' to this community of untouchable people. In 1853, after the Great Indian Peninsula Rail Company established the first railway system through the Indian continent, the British colonial authority lured these untouchables with promises of better jobs and facilities in railway stations and provincial government offices. But they were made to do the same jobs as before. In Bangladesh, untouchable people have been engaged in the cleaning profession by birth. Though they despise their profession, most of them have no other way to live except by being a sweeper. They are politically, socially, economically, and mentally isolated from the mainstream community.

Click here to view the exhibit.
SDN News

Exhibition catalog from SDN Call for Entries on global recession now available.
Photo by Mike BerubeSDN has just released the catalog of the winners from Crisis & Opportunity: Documenting the Global Recession. This full-color 32-page catalog includes a preface by Lori Grinker and a report on the global economic crisis by the Center for Economic and Social Rights, the co-publisher of this catalog.
$12.00 per copy.
Purchase online.

SDN is seeking other venues for global recession exhibition
After the debut showing at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn of Crisis & Opportunity: Documenting the Global Recession ends in mid-March, we are looking for other venues for the exhibition. Click here for information on the Call for Entries and exhibit. For more information or to inquire about a showing, contact Glenn Ruga.

Stephen Dupont named Gardner Photography Fellow at Harvard Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is pleased to announce the selection of the 2010 Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography. Following an international search, the Gardner Fellowship committee awarded the Fellowship to Stephen Dupont, a prize-winning Australian photographer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. Dupont will be working on a project entitled Guns and Arrows: The Detribalization of Papua New Guinea. More...

Photography and Human Rights at NYU
May 17-June 25, 2010
The Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University and the Magnum Foundation present a suite of four courses in Photography and Human Rights designed to explore strategies to create effective documentary projects linked with issues of human rights. This 6-week program is made up of 4 intensive evening courses, intended for intermediate and advanced students, including experienced professionals, who seek to hone their documentary and media skills in the context of human rights. More...

SDN Seeks Volunteer/Intern for Editorial Assistance
SocialDocumentary.net is seeking a volunteer or intern to take a lead role in helping to design and edit our Spotlight e-newsletter and to work with us to edit online exhibits and other writing and editing projects. Position requires 4-6 hours per week.
    Candidates should have excellent writing/editing skills, experience with basic Photoshop and html, and background in documentary photography studies.
    Interested candidates should send resume and letter to Glenn Ruga at glenn@socialdocumentary.net.
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.