SPOTLIGHT/Number 120, February 2013  

Dear Spotlight Readers:


Much of the work submitted to SDN is long-form documentary--projects that span months or years focusing on a particular issue in the world, as demonstrated by many of the exhibits below.

Meanwhile, events in the world continue to happen at a dizzying pace. These events are better captured by photojournalists interpreting breaking news rather than by documentary photographers seeking long-term stories. We encourage both types of story telling on SDN as long as they meet our overall quality requirements. Often a news story can become a long term project, such as coverage of a particular event in one country (Libya, for example) becoming part of a long term project on the Arab Spring. (See exhibition by Michael Robinson Chavez on the Arab Spring in multiple countries).


At SDN, it is always our goal to feature work that gives us a greater understanding of the global human condition-whether it is presented in war or peace, on the other side of the world or next door, and whether the issues are about conflict, the economy, the environment, civil rights, or the destruction of indigenous lifestyles.


We look forward to your stories and hope to see your work in upcoming issues of Spotlight. If you do not already have a membership to SDN, click here to get started. 


Best regards, 


Glenn Ruga
SDN Founder and Director     



Featured Exhibits   



Photograph by Dorin Goian. Hospice Angelus Moldova 2011 


Hospice Angelus         

Republic of Moldova
Photographs by Dorin Goian      

In Chisinau, the capital city of the Republic of Moldova, all cancer patients in the country are treated at the huge 1,010-bed cancer hospital. There are no home-care services, so when patients are discharged home, the family has to cope without any support. In 2002, a local surgeon, Dr. Valerian Isac, recognized the need for this kind of care and established Hospice Angelus as the first provider of palliative care in Moldova.     


View the exhibit.  

Other Recently Added Exhibits



Marcin Klimek
A series of photographs from Ukraine and Estonia.


Viet Nam: Adaption to climate change and floods of rubbish

Astrid Schulz
Viet Nam is currently emerging as one of Asia's powerful countries, which brings not only social and economic changes, but also many challenges.


Disappearing Memories

Hayk Bianjyan
Since 2001, the Armenian government has pursued construction projects that have destroyed historic architecture and violated property rights.


First Comes Love

B. Proud
A celebration of long-term relationships between same-sex couples.


Transmigrations: Migrants crossing the Tenere desert to reach Europe

Alfredo Bini
Migrants travel through Niger along a trans-Sahara route to reach the Mediterranean coastline.


Intellectual disability in the world

Jonathan Boulet-Groulx
A document of those living with an intellectual disability and their families.


Port-au-Prince Scrappers

William Farrington
Scrap metal scavengers have become a common sight in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.


Rural Women in Peru

Elie Gardner
Women from rural Peru usually work from a young age and know few luxuries.

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Bhopal Second Disaster  
Madhya Pradesh, India
Photographs by Alex Masi

Alex Massi

Photograph by Alex Masi. Zubin, 3, a severely disabled girl, is being held by her mother inside their home in one of the nineteen water-affected colonies of Bhopal near the abandoned Union Carbide (now DOW Chemical) industrial complex. Zubin has recently deceased.


Twenty-eight years have passed since the 1984 gas disaster in Bhopal, India caused by the American corporation Union Carbide, but many families are still trapped in the nightmare that began on that distant night. When all the safety mechanisms failed, half a million people were exposed to the toxic cloud released from the plant. Thousands died within weeks. Today, its poisonous legacy is not only affecting the health of those who survived, but also the wellbeing of their children, many of whom are suffering from severe neurological and physical disorders, caused by the on-going environmental contamination.


View the exhibit. 

Fukushima "No-Go Zone"
Photographs by Pierpaolo Mittica   

Photograph by Pierpaolo Mittica. Earthquake damage, Odaka.


On April 20, 2011, the Japanese government created an evacuated area of 20 km around the nuclear power plant of Fukushima Daiichi, refusing admittance to the "No-Go Zone", especially to journalists and photographers. But, since July 2011, Mittica entered the zone several times. Despite the massive contamination, life still goes on and many stories of life and death remain inside.

View the exhibit. 

150th Anniversary of the Fredericksburg Battle

Virginia, United States
Photographs by Zacarias Garcia


Photograph by Zacarias Garcia. As victims of the war, civilians attend the 150 years ceremony of the Fredericksburg battle.   


During the Civil War, Fredericksburg, Virginia, gained strategic importance due to its location midway between Washington and Richmond, the opposing capitals of the Union and the Confederacy. During the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 11-15, 1862, the town sustained significant damage from bombardment and looting by the Union forces. The annual ceremony of the Fredericksburg battle shows how Americans are linked to their recent past.


View the exhibit. 

Inside Muslims in Europe
Photographs by Fanny Sarri


Photograph by Fanny Sarri. 2010, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Muslims have, by now, made their presence felt in Europe's capitals. A different culture is growing alongside the existent one. Outwards this is made apparent with headscarves and mosques. It is far deeper, however: it is about a different social life.

View the exhibit. 

A Long Way to Home
Accra, Ghana
Photographs by Alexia Webster 


Photograph by Alexia Webster. Samuel Sala with his three-year-old daughter, Jackie, and newborn son on their way to a hospital to have the baby checked and weighed.


On 2 September 2009, 17-year-old Menshi Sala gave birth under a tree in the suburbs of Accra, Ghana. Menshi had fled Darfur, Sudan, a year before as a refugee with her husband Samuel and his four children. The young family had walked more than 3000km to escape the war. But as Ghana is overburdened with the task of supporting its own people, many refugees are left having to fend for themselves.


View the exhibit. 

Love from Manenberg
South Africa
Photographs by Sarah Stacke 


Photograph by Sarah Stacke. Stepsister Kimmy sitting on Naomi's bed. July 2012. Manenberg.  


Naomi Lottering lives in Manenberg, a township of Cape Town, South Africa. Manenberg was created by the apartheid government for coloured individuals. It is located in the Cape Flats, an area that is largely recognized for its social problems, which include HIV/AIDS, poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence.  


View the exhibit. 

SDN NewsExhibition in Boston on Work of French Photojournalist Remi Ochlick Killed in Syria in 2012



The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and the Consulate General of France in Boston present a stirring exhibit by French photojournalist Remi Ochlik, who was killed in the February 2012 bombardment of Homs during the Syrian uprising along with American war journalist Marie Colvin. The exhibit, titled  "Revolutions," features 56 images by Ochlik, who, until his death at age 28, covered pivotal events around the world including riots in Haiti in 2004 surrounding the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008, the cholera epidemic and presidential elections in Haiti in 2010, and the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, and the uprising and war in Libya in 2011.

January 26 - February 22
The Art Institute of Boston (AIB) Main Gallery
700 Beacon Street, Boston


Click here for more information.

OSI Moving Walls 21 Grant Guidelines Available

The Moving Walls exhibition series showcases documentary photography that highlights human rights and social issues that coincide with the Open Society Foundations' mission. In addition to a $2,500 honorarium, photographers receive their professionally produced exhibitions at the end of the exhibition tour in New York and Washington, D.C. Priority is given to work whose subject has not been recently addressed in Moving Walls, and special consideration is given to long-term work produced over years of commitment to an issue or community. Work in progress may be submitted as long as a substantial portion of the work has been completed.

More information>> 

The Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography Calls for Submissions 
$5,000 grant to a Gulf Coast photographer 

The New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA) will begin accepting applications for the Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography 2013 grant. This fund, established by NOPA to honor the legendary New Orleans photographer Michael P. Smith, awards one $5,000 grant annually to a Gulf Coast photographer whose work combines artistic excellence and a sustained commitment to a long-term cultural documentary project.  

More information>> 

Guantanamo: If the Lights Go Out
Photographs by Edmund Clark 
February 7 - May 4 
Gage Gallery, Roosevelt University, Chicago

Photograph by Edmund Clark


Rather than an attempt to monumentalize the Guantanamo camps, these images illustrate three ideas of home: The naval base at Guantanamo which is home to the American community and of which the prison camps are just a part; the complex of camps where the detainees have been held, and the homes, new and old, where the former detainees now find themselves trying to rebuild their lives. The narrative of these images aims to evoke the process of disorientation and dislocation central to the techniques of incarceration at Guantanamo, and to explore the legacy of disturbance such experiences have in the minds and memories of these men. The viewer is asked to jump from prison camp detail to domestic still life, from life outside to the naval base and back again. From light to dark.


More information>> 

Media that Matters Conference
February 14 - 15, 2013
American University
Washington, DC

Media that Matters


The annual Media that Matters conference is being presented by the Center for Social Media at American University. It is designed for established and aspiring filmmakers, nonprofit communication leaders, funders, and students who want to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter.

This year's conference "Measure for Measure," will unlock the strategies for measuring the social change impact of our media. Experts will speak about the latest tools, fostering the next generation, and longevity across platforms. Several films will be shown and raffle prizes given away during the conference.     

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.