SPOTLIGHT/April 6, 2012   


Dear SDN Spotlight Readers:


As this issue of Spotlight is getting ready to go to press, the SDN Call for Entries on The Art of Documentary will just be closing. The response has been fantastic and the work incredible. To see all the work submitted, click here. Soon the judges--Barbara Ayotte, Reza, and myself--will be reviewing the work and selecting the winners. The winners will be announced on April 17.  


As the deadline approaches, we are receiving far too many exhibits to include in this Spotlight. We hope over the next few months to include many of the exhibits that did not make it into this issue. 


Best regards,


Glenn Ruga

SDN Founder and Director



Featured Exhibits 



Photograph by Miguel Candela.  This brothel serves as both home and place of business.. 



Photographs by Miguel Candela  

Society has forced them to live in darkness while men love them and hate them in equal measure, demanding their services while trying to get rid of them permanently. This is the intolerable contradiction that is their everyday live.


View the exhibit.  

The Art of Documentary


The winners of this SDN call for entries will be exhibited at the New York Photo Festival, May 16-20, in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The theme, "The Art of Documentary", parallels the theme of the 2012 New York Photo Festival, "The matrix of art photography and social documentary."
Deadline for entries:
April 6, 2012.

Other Recently Added Exhibits


The Space between Us

Evi Lemberger
Giving a voice to the children of NGO work.


Cleveland's Flats

Steve Cagan
Photographs made in the 1970s and 80s, documenting Cleveland's disappearing industrial landscape and its paradoxical beauty. Things had begun to change.


God, Guns & Guts

Ben Philippi
Four years of traveling to every corner of America reveals proud, unashamed, and legal gun owners.


Terror Beat of Acid

Khaled Hasan
In Bangladesh in the last 10 years, there were 3000 victims of acid attacks, and most of them were women.



Piotr Pietrus
85 years old, Józio has been living in this house in southern Poland for 50 years. Due to financial needs, the house will be sold, and he will move to his sister's home.


Portrait of a Greek Landscape

Stella Johnson
An ongoing record of interior and exterior landscapes, and of the country my family emigrated from, that narrates a conflicted story of self in the notebooks of past and present.


Life Without Lights

Peter DiCampo
At a time of constant debate over the future of energy, it is easy to forget that 1.5 billion people--nearly a quarter of humanity--live without access to electricity.


All Roads Lead to Cassadaga

Christiaan Lopez-Miro
An exploration of a 115-year-old Spiritualist community in Central Florida.



Gregory McLellan
Photographs discarded as trash were collected over 10 years; here, they are are dropped, photographed, geotagged and left behind on the streets.
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Photographs by Daniel Padro Centellas


Photograph by Daniel Padro Centellas. People expecting your time. 


The vision of Calcutta: a trip around the streets of an overpopulated and unequal city. A city that drags a huge marginal population, a contrast of people and cultures, from different places. Streets full of life and activity, people who turn into characters. A metropolis that imprints an exasperating rhythm, with the continuous movement of its citizens. This is the everyday pace of the long lost capital, a city that lives great memories and perhaps misses the old times.


View the exhibit. 

Attempted Suicide
Photographs by Douglas Ljungkvist













Photograph by Douglas Ljungkvist.  Diane, suicide attempt survivor.


Attempted Suicide is a multimedia project intended to increase awareness about the fact that 35,000+ American's die by suicide every year and more than 350,000 attempts are committed.


View the exhibit. 

Cold Trade: Ice Sellers in the Border 
Photographs by Pedro Farias-Nardi










Photograph by Pedro Farias-Nardi. Jean watches his uncle cut an ice block.  


The town of Dajabon, Dominican Republic, borders Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Twice per week, Fallace Tati and his nephew Jean cross the border early, go to the Beller Ice Factory in Dajabon, and buy three or four blocks of ice.  He sells the ice to grocery stores, small hotels, other merchants, and individuals.  His profits are $7-$10.


View the exhibit.  


Last Transfer: The Soul of Syracuse 
Photographs by Bob Gates










Photograph by Bob Gates. Luck of the Irish.  


The soul of Syracuse, NY, is hiding in plain sight at the corner of Fayette and South Salina Streets. This intersection, the only vibrant remnant of a once-bustling main street, will soon be changed forever when a new off-street bus station is completed four blocks further south. Though this will benefit many bus patrons, it will hasten the gentrification of the city center and eliminate something vital and important.


View the exhibit.  


SDN News

New York Photo Festival 2012 is Accepting Entries for Invitational  

Deadline April 15


NYPH logo

NYPH'12 is pleased to announce that the inaugural New York Photo Festival Invitational are open!


Begun in 2008 as The New York Photo Awards, the Invitational will allow photographers and artists everywhere to submit their work for exhibit in the New York Photo Festival itself.

The curators of the New York Photo Festival--Amy Smith-Stewart, Glenn Ruga, Claude Grunitzky, and DJ Spooky--will lead small groups of industry and art world professionals in selecting the finest examples of works submitted in the categories of Art Photography, Documentary Work, Advertising, Books, and Multimedia (including a student level for each category).


The exhibitions of the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and category Winners will take a significant place alongside the NYPH'12 Curators' exhibitions, centered around the theme of this year's New York Photo Festival, the art/doc matrix: where do fine art and documentary photography meet?


The 2012 New York Photo Festival Invitational will provide a unique platform for photographers and artists to be exhibited alongside leading masters and upcoming talents selected by Festival curators, and to be seen by hundreds of thousands of attendees and passersby this May 16-20.


Submissions will also be seen by influential decision-makers in fine art, documentary, and commercial realms via juried online evaluation; special exhibitions will be planned along the category outlines over the summer, and special fall spectacular is planned; sign up to receive news when it is announced in mid-April.


The New York Photo Festival initiated its annual photography competition in 2008 as The New York Photo Awards. The awards were an immediate success, and submissions have climbed each year, both in breadth of material as well as in source of work submitted. Last year 17,000 images were submitted by professional and budding photographers from more than 90 countries for the Awards; work featured in past thematic Invitationals have been purchased as fine Art, generated ad agency interest, and received representation inquiries from galleries, stock agencies, and private curators. Submit today and become an active participant of The New York Photo Festival 2012.


For categories and fees, rules and FAQ, visit: 


SDN Exhibits Winners of Call for Entries at Festival 

SDN will be exhibiting work of documentary photographers at the New York Photo Festival. To be considered for this exhibition, photographers can enter a call for entries on the the SDN website. To enter, see The Art of Documentary.
Deadline April 6.


OSI Documentary Photography Project Announces 2012 Grant Opportunity for Photographers from Central Asia, South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Pakistan.          


The Open Society Documentary Photography Project ( and Arts and Culture Program ( announce a grant and training opportunity for documentary photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan.


The grant is being offered to:

  • Visually document issues of importance in the region; and
  • Provide training and support to photographers from the region. 

Approximately 10 cash stipends in the amount of $3,500 each will be awarded to photographers to produce a photo essay on a current human rights or social issue in the region. Grantees will participate in two master-level workshops on visual storytelling through photography and multimedia. These workshops are led by internationally-recognized photographers and industry professionals who will then provide ongoing mentorship and support throughout the six-month grant term.


The Open Society Foundations will pay travel and hotel expenses and provide a per diem to cover meals and incidentals for the workshops.


The deadline for proposals is May 10, 2012.


For more information on the grant, please visit:  


About is a website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore documentary exhibits 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.