About SocialDocumentary.net
SocialDocumentary.net is a website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore documentary exhibits investigating critical issues facing the world today.  Click here to view all of the exhibits.

SDN Staff

Glenn Ruga
Founder and Director

Barbara Ayotte
Communications Director

Jenny Fremlin
Tatiana Cohen

SDN Advisory Committee

Paul Cummings
Lori Grinker
Steve Horn
Ed Kashi
Susan Mazer
John Sevigny
Steve Walker
Frank Ward

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SDN welcomes submissions by photographers who have powerful stories to tell about the global human condition. Click here to learn how to submit your work.

January 1, 2011


On the first day of this new year, I am honored to present these fourteen projects submitted to SDN in 2010 as representing exemplary work from the past year. In choosing these exhibits, I weighed the factors of 1) the power of the photographic image, 2) the commitment and respect for the subject matter as demonstrated in the text and the images, and 3) diversity of issues and locations. The third factor required that some exhibits, while certainly as deserving of recognition as these fourteen, were not included only because there was an over-representation of the particular subject or geographical location.

I would like to thank all the photographers who have submitted exhibits over the past year for participating in this global community of image makers and image viewers, all of whom recognize the power of the photographic image to explore -- and in some cases change -- the global human condition.

I wish everyone a very happy new year and I look forward to sharing with you new work submitted from all corners of the world in the weeks and months ahead.

Stay tuned for our next Spotlight of new work and announcements on our upcoming Call for Entries on how the global landscape has changed in the ten years since 9/11.

Warmest regards,

Glenn Ruga
Founder and Director

Afghanistan: Throwaway Soldier
Marielle van Uitert

The Afghan National Police and their struggle to offer security
to civilians.
Marielle van Uitert
Portrait of a member of the Afghan National Police.

Cuba: Campo Adentro
Susan Bank

American photographer Susan Bank lived and worked with campesinos during multiple trips to the tobacco farming region in the Valley of Vinales, Pinar del Rio Province, from 2002 to 2009.
Susan Bank
Guillermo and family in cocina.

Zanzibar: Seaweed Farmers
Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper traveled to Zanzibar in the summer of 2009 to photograph women of diverse religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds in both urban and rural settings--including seaweed farmers in a rural village on the east coast of Unguja.
Johanna Lipper
The thin thread that connects seaweed farmers in Zanzibar to the global economy is growing more fragile by the day as poverty levels rise and environmental and economic activities like seaweed farming become increasingly unsustainable.

US: Portraits of Food Workers
Paul Grossman

Portraits of men and women who produce food or work in the food industry in the United States.
Paul Grossman
South Street Seaport, New York City, 2001

Armenia: Father Land
Ara Oshagan

Father Land by Vahé and Ara Oshagan is a poetic and personal journey through the rugged, human-and-history-laden landscape of Karabagh.
Ara Oshagan
Photograph by Ara Oshagan.

Ed Kashi

VII photographer Ed Kashi works with Azafady -- a small, grass roots NGO assisting the poorest and most vulnerable communities of southeast Madagascar.
Ed Kashi
These young girls, ages 11-13, use a paste made from the tsiambara plant's roots to beautify their skin.

Thailand: Red Shirt Protests
Yusuke Harada

Thailand red shirts, supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, started anti-government protests in mid-March. In May, the Thai authorities launched a crackdown on a protest camp in the center of Bangkok and 14 people were killed and over 90 others injured.
Yusuke Harada
Protesters hide from a government sniper behind a barricade.

Cambodia: Hope
Janos Kis

This documentary series was part of an assignment Kis photographed at the Handicap International Rehabilitation Center in Cambodia.
Janos Kis
Physically handicapped child using walking sticks to play football at HI rehabilitation center in Siem Reap.

US: Refugee Resettlement in Clarkston, Georgia
Bryan Meltz

Over the last decade Clarkston, Georgia, a former railroad town outside of Atlanta, has been transformed into the Ellis Island of the South for refugees from every corner of the globe.
Bryan Meltz
Maynun, 8, and her older brother Said, 12, were both born in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Bangladesh: Celestial Devotion
Jashim Salam

With an illiteracy rate of 48%, Bangladesh's poor are provided an education, free food, and shelter in the madrassa system. Lessons begin right after fajr (dawn) prayer and continue up to dinner, with two short breaks for supper and chores.
Jashim Salam
Students reciting the holy Koran in order to memorize it. It is their regular duty to recite the Koran 10 to 12 hours a day to become 'Hafez.'

Georgia: Mental Hospital
Tina Kazakhishvili

Madness can come in so many different flavors--it cannot be limited to a picture of a straitjacket or the padded room where the "crazy people" live with the violence inflicted to their body and the danger they represent to others.
Tina Kazakhkishvili
Mental hospital. Tbilisi, Georgia. 2009.

US: White Nationalism
Anthony Karen

During a long-term project on the Ku Klux Klan, Anthony Karen came into contact with several organizations within the White Nationalist movement. He chose to document them during defining moments in their lives -- moments of camaraderie, protest, gatherings/social events and leisure.
Anthony Karen
"Charlie Boots", one of the lead singers of Stormtroop16.

Serbia: Margins of Life
Goran Stamenkovic

A look at rural life in Serbia.
Goran Stamenkovic
Blacksmith from Basaid.

Cambodia & India: Exclusion and Poverty
Manuel Meszarovits

Meszarovits reflects on the harshness of poverty through his lens and shows the inequalities that still remain today. He also immortalizes these incredibly rich encounters in images, where all emotions are multiplied tenfold in their most simple splendor, underlining a humane generosity, where sharing knows no boundaries.
Manuel Meszarovits
Young girl in Phnom Penh slum.