SDN Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT/Number 125, July 2013
Featuring exhibits submitted to SDN in June 2013  

Dear SDN Readers: 


The Featured Photographer of the Month in this issue of Spotlight is Giles Clarke for his work on gangs in El Salvador. This is Clarke's sixth exhibit on SDN. His other projects focus on Haiti, Jamaica, Hurricane Sandy, Odessa and Occupy Wall Street. (View all Giles projects on SDN.) Clarke has gained unprecedented access to both special police units and the Mara Salvatruchas and Barrio18 gangs. As he follows the police, he manages to photograph cages ringed with barbed wire walls, meant to be 72-hour holding pens, and have now become long term cells for imprisoned gang members.

As this issue of Spotlight goes to press, Egypt is once again front and center in the news. Massive demonstrations against the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood led the Egyptian military to force Mohammed Morsi from power and arrest key Brotherhood leaders. As of this writing, violence is erupting throughout Egypt as Muslim Brotherhood supporters protest these events. See below for a feature on eight SDN exhibits focusing on life and revolution in Egypt.


Glenn Ruga 


SDN Featured Photographer of the Month    


Giles Clark

Photograph by Giles Clarke. 'M18' gang member in the cage. The two gang cages are about 20ft apart and separated by the 'common criminal' enclosure. 



El Salvador
Photographs by Giles Clarke      

In San Salvador, the two main street gangs are known as 'Mara Salvatruchas' (MS-13) and 'Barrio18' (M18).

Through friends in the country, Giles Clarke joined with a police captain and former gang-members who, together, immersed him into the 'gang truce' situation in a rough suburb that's some 20 miles outside of San Salvador. Over the next few days, Clarke spent time with the special police units patrolling the streets of this particularly troubled area where the two main gangs live and operate.

View the exhibit. 


Other Recently Added Exhibits

 Daryl Sánchez Tello

Pásele güerita

Daryl Sánchez Tello

 Lorena Leticia Avila

Doctor, mi salud está en sus manos

Lorena Leticia Avila

Mamunr Rashid

'Garo' Tribe of Baromary in Bangladesh

Mamunr Rashid

Mafer Franco

Bienvenidos a la casa de los abuelitos

Mafer Franco

Mamunr Rashid

Moon Exclipse

Mamunr Rashid

Roland Nagy

Living in the Cemetery

Roland Nagy

Silvia Ramilli

Electromagnetic Pollution

Silvia Ramilli

Wayne Chinook

Infant and Child Malnutrition in Haiti

Wayne Chinnok

Silvia Ramilli

Street Art

Silvia Ramilli

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Wall of Death 
Photographs by A.M. Ahad

A.M. Ahad

Photograph by A.M. Ahad. Rahela Begum has two children and a miserable life after losing her husband who was killed by Indian Border Security Forces (BSF).


Bangladesh is bordered on the west, north, and east by a 4,095 kilometer land frontier with India. The fence marking the border between India and Bangladesh is often called the "Great Wall of India" but now it is simply the "Wall of Death". The Indian government has built the wall to restrict illegal movements along borders not only with Bangladesh but other countries as well for security reasons.


View the exhibit.

Melancholy Witness
Northern Ireland, 1980s
Photographs by Seán Hillen  
Sean Hillen

Photograph by Seán Hillen. A young boy following old men down a mountainside after the Mass Rock event.

These photographs are of scenes from the 1980s, a period of conflict in Northern Ireland known as 'The Troubles', taken by Irish artist Seán Hillen. This is a small selection of approximately 700 photos which have recently been acquired by the National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive.

View the exhibit. 

54 Minute Flight from Home
Photographs by Cindy Murray

Cindy Murray

Photograph by Cindy Murray. Muraleando.


Cuba is beautiful, deteriorating, and complex. The people are warm and welcoming. Everyone dances, sings, and/or plays instruments. The old are survivors and resourceful. The young are hungry and inventive. Everything feels poised for change. The direction, however, is unknown as it is hard to identify where the truth really lies.


View the exhibit. 

Meat Me
Photographs by Mafer Franco            
Mafer Franco

Photograph by Mafer Franco. Meat Me.


This photodocumentary is about the employees in a Mexican butcher shop. Each one of these men represent an important key in the daily meat process. Meat me intends to represent the value of a butcher job in a meat-consuming society. 


View the exhibit. 

Charak Puja
Photographs by A.M. Ahad  
A.M. Ahad

Photograph by A.M. Ahad. A man prepares to perform during the Charak Puja.


Among the agricultural communities of South Bangladesh and West Bengal, is a very popular festival called Charak Puja. It is the worship of Lord Shiva and Sakti.

The most essential part of this religious festivity is the endurance of physical pain. A wheel is fixed atop the 'Charak tree' and the devotee is hung from this wheel with a hook attached to his back. The wheel is then made to spin around at high speed. Small nails, usually red hot ones, are pierced into the whole body of the devotee including his tongue.

Miraculously, the devotees feel no pain or suffer any injury.  


View the exhibit. 

SDN News
egyptLife and Revolution in Egypt
Documentaries by Eight SDN Photographers                  
Ontoshiki Vun


Photograph by Ontoshiki Vun. A woman yells anti-Morsi chants, while other protestors and onlookers follow her lead.


 "I have been bullied and threatened but I will not be intimidated by them. I will fight the Muslim Brotherhood until each and everyone of them are put in jail."
                          -From Tipping Point by Ontoshiki Vun 


In the wake of recent events in Egypt with the ouster of  the Muslim Brotherhood and democratically elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi by the armed forces, SDN has put together a collection of eight exhibits focusing on life and revolution in Egypt.  

the exhibits.  

AP Photographers on Covering Syrian Conflict

In a six-part interview series, Manoocher Deghati, Khalil Hamra, Manu Brabo, Muhammed Muheisen, Narciso Contreras, and Rodrigo Abd talk about their experiences covering the conflict in Syria.  The interviews showcase the astounding resourcefulness, tenacity and courage that go into capturing the award-winning images, and highlight the importance of documenting this devastating civil war.

View the video on YouTube 

Grants and Fellowships Available to Documentary Photographers 

See link below for a list of 29 grants and fellowships available to documentary photographers. SDN welcomes additions and corrections to this list, and encourage our members to circulate the list through your social media. View list >> 

Meet the Photographers in Moving Walls 21 
Open Society Documentary Project 


Diana Markosian 
Photograph by Diana Markosian: A Chechen teenage girl, who considers herself "emo," puts on pink lip-gloss in her room. "Emo" youth differentiate themselves from others by dressing in black clothing, piercings, and heavy eyeliner. The "emotional" punk and rock music scene inspired the Western "emo" subculture, and Chechen youth who are influenced by the Western "emo" subculture have become targets of violence by authorities.   
The Open Society Documentary Photography Project has concluded the selection of photographers for the Moving Walls 21 group exhibition, which opens in January 2014. Through a process that involved careful deliberation by the Documentary Photography Project, an advisory committee of the Open Society Foundations' staff, and the exhibition curators--Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas and Stuart Alexander, international specialist at Christie's--the following projects were selected:
  • Shannon Jensen, A Long Walk, on Sudan's Blue Nile state refugees seeking shelter from conflict in neighboring South Sudan;
  • Mark Leong, Hong Kong Under China: 15 Years On, which reflects on the transitions that have taken place in Hong Kong since the handover to China;
  • Diana Markosian, Goodbye My Chechnya, on young Chechen women coming of age in a republic that is rapidly redefining itself as a Muslim state;
  • Nikos Pilos, The Ruin of the Greek Industry, on the fiscal crisis in Greece as seen through its abandoned factories;
  • Joăo Pina, Shadow of the Condor, on the aftermath of Operation Condor and South America's military dictatorships during the "dirty war" years.

SDN congratulates the above photographers on being selected for Moving Walls.


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.