SDN Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT/Number 126, August 2013
Featuring exhibits submitted to SDN in July 2013  

Dear SDN Readers: 


Fardin Waezi, this month's SDN featured photographer, tells an amazing story of Akram Kahn, a determined young Afghan boy who lost his arms when he touched an electric cable while foraging for wood for his family as a refugee in Pakistan. He is back in Kabul now in an IDP camp begging to earn money for his family, playing soccer, learning how to use a computer (without hands), and generally doing the things that other young boys like to do. Fardin's story is no less compelling. He learned photography from his father in Kabul. During the Taliban period, the only work he could do as a photographer was creating ID cards in front of the Ministry of the Interior using a wooden box camera. After the American bombing and the collapse of the Taliban, he was fortunate to begin taking courses with AINA, the Afghan Media and Culture Center, an organization started by SDN Advisory Committee member and internationally renowned photographer Reza. Fardin is determined to tell the world that Afghanistan is more than bombings and burqas, and has his own website dedicated to this purpose,


As this issue of Spotlight goes to press, we are excited to announce our next Call for Entries, Using the Power of Photography to Promote Global Awareness. We are again partnering with Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to award two Grand Prizes, each a $4,000 photography fellowship to spend up to two weeks documenting the global health work of MSH. For complete information on all prizes and call for entry guidelines, visit

Glenn Ruga 


SDN Featured Photographer of the Month    



Photograph by Fardin Waezi. "My friends and family help me to do things that I cannot do alone, like holding a mobile telephone to my ear or putting sunglasses on."


Victims of War   

Photographs by Fardin Waezi      

Akram Kahn's Story: "I went to Pakistan with my family during civil war. We were not well off and it was hard to live in Afghanistan during winter. Because we are poor we needed to collect wood for winter. Once when I was out collecting wood, there was a cable in the forest. I did not notice it and when I touched it, it shocked me and threw me 25 meters away. After a month in the hospital I woke up and when I saw my hands were cut off I was crying, my family was crying."

View the exhibit. 


Other Recently Added Exhibits


Unmindful Killing     

Suvra Kanti Das


Back to the Garden     

Steve Davis


The Orange Order: Bonfires, Parades & Protests

Thomas Comery


Universal Access to Female Condoms in Mozambique

Ryan W. Daniels

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Living in the Guatemala City Dump 
Photographs by Giles Clarke


Photograph by Giles Clarke. 'Vulture'. Guatemala City. June 2013.


There are thousands of families who scavenge the Guatemala City dump. They live there. Some 500 tons of trash are delivered into the area everyday, much of it daily waste but also including large quantities of medical refuse, and dead bodies (both human and animals). Many young children work in the side streets, which lead away from the ravine helping their family scratch a meager living.


View the exhibit.

Soul of Coffee
Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Ethiopia, South Sudan
Photographs by Reza  

Photograph by Reza. On the road to the fields of coffee.

On the ancestral roads of the coffee fields, the humanist photographer Reza, after an immersive work of several months, discovers the plantations of India, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Work, dignity and tradition are highlighted through the actions carried out in plantations. From the immaculate flowers to the delicate red cherries that men and women seek on the often abrupt mountainsides, the highly demanding coffee culture is here revealed.

View the exhibit. 

Children & The Art of Eight Limbs
Photographs by Anna Fawcus


Photograph by Anna Fawcus. Muraleando.


In Thailand, it is not uncommon for children to start boxing from the age of 7 or 8 years old, some even starting as early as 5 years old. The children are sent away from home to stay at the gym where they train. They earn money when they fight, which they send home, becoming providers for their family at a very young age. Child boxing has received a lot of media attention from international human rights activists, but in Thailand there is no such debate: it is simply a way of life.


View the exhibit. 

One Person Crying: Women and War
World Wide 
Photographs by Marissa Roth

Photograph by Marissa Roth. Arifa Osmanovic, lost 3 sons in the Srebrenica Massacre. Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2009.


"This project brought me face to face with hundreds of women who endured and survived war and its ancillary experiences of loss, pain and unimaginable hardship. I was compelled to put faces and give voices to the women's side of war. There is no sign of blood or guns in any of the images, just the record of lives lived with a never-ending post-war backdrop." 


View the exhibit. 

Photographs by Pascal Amos Rest 

Photograph by Pascal Amos Rest. The view outside.

The famous brothel Pascha is one of the largest houses of prostitution in Europe. Spread over 11 floors, there are 126 apartments, bistros, boutiques and much more. The 7th floor is exclusively reserved for transsexuals.

View the exhibit. 

Learning to Dance with Cerebral Palsy
New York City, NY, United States
Photographs by Lori Grinker 

Photograph by Lori Grinker. A pair of Gregg Mozgala's shoes show wear in the toes as a result of him dragging his feet due to cerebral palsy. NYC, NY, June 29, 2009.

In 2009, Lori Grinker met choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, who was working with Gregg Mozgala, an actor with a mild form of cerebral palsy. Tamar created a dance piece, "Diagnosis of a Faun" for Gregg and for the next year they worked together on the project.

View the exhibit. 

Turkey Rises: Night Clashes in Istanbul and Ankara
Istanbul, Ankara, Turkey
Photographs by Mstyslav Chernov 

Photograph by Mstyslav Chernov. A protester turns his back to a burning barricade. Istanbul 16/06/2013.

On 28 May 2013, protests were sparked by outrage at a brutal eviction of a sit-in at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park protesting the park's demolition. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey about a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism.

View the exhibit. 

In the Shadows of Sandy
New York, United States
Photographs by Jika Gonzalez 

Photograph by Jika Gonzalez. Midland Beach, four months after Hurricane Sandy.

When the Atlantic Ocean swelled on the night of October 29th, the winds of Hurricane Sandy pummeled through the eastern seaboard, moving from Florida to Maine, leaving at least 72 dead, and unimaginable destruction in its wake. It has been five months since that night in which countless undocumented immigrants lost their home to the floods of the storm.

View  the exhibit. 

Drag Queen
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Photographs by Keiko Hiromi 

Photograph by Keiko Hiromi. Kris Knievil, a drag queen at backstage during Saturday show "Miss-Leading Ladies" at Jacques Cabaret in Boston, MA on May 26, 2012. Knievil is a MC hostess of "Miss-Leading Ladies".

Established in 1931, Jacques Cabaret is the oldest drag queen cabaret bar in Boston, Massachusetts.

View  the exhibit. 

SDN News
SDN Announces Call for Entries 


Call for Entries 2013 Since launched in 2008, our tagline has been, "Using the power of photography to promote global awareness." We are now making this the theme of our next call for entries.


Two Grand Prize winners will be each awarded a $4,000 fellowship to spend up to two weeks documenting the global health projects of Management Sciences for Health (MSH). An additional monetary award and two honorable mentions will be specifically honored by SDN.


SDN is especially excited to announce that all winners'  work will be featured in an exhibition at powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY, from February 27 to March 23, 2014.


Begin Accepting Entries Online: August 9, 2013
Deadline for entries: September 28, 2013


Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of industry professionals.
  • Shahidal Alam, Founder, Drik Photo Agency, Bangladesh
  • Barbara Ayotte, Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences for Health, Cambridge
  • Dimitri Beck, Editor-in-Chief, Polka Magazine, Paris
  • Manoocher Deghati, AP Middle East Regional Photo Editor, Cairo
  • Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel, Director, Anastasia Photo, New York
  • Glenn Ruga, Founder and Director,, Boston
  • Two Grand Prizes: MSH Photography Fellowship: Two winners will each receive a Photography Fellowship with Management Sciences for Health (MSH). $4,000 honorarium and up to two weeks of expense-paid travel in one to two of the countries in which MSH works. Travel will occur between December 2013 and June 2014. (See below for further details on the MSH Photography Fellowship.)
  • SDN Documentary Prize: $1,000 cash award
  • 2-3 Honorable Mentions
All winning entries will participate in an exhibition at powerHouse Arena, Brooklyn, NY, from February 27 through March 23, 2014. There will also be a web-based component to the exhibition. SDN and MSH will pay all printing and preparation costs for the exhibition.


>>Click here for more information and application instructions.

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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 >> 

Exhibit: Portraits of Survival 
Photographs by Michael Kamber
Photograph by Michael Kamber. Afghanistan, 2011.  

Portraits of Survival, intimate photographs from conflict zones around the world, is the first solo show of Michael Kamber's work in 25 years. Kamber, a former combat photographer with The New York Times, covered over a dozen conflicts in the past decade. The show will open on Wednesday, August 14 at 6pm with a reception. Thirty portraits will be on display at Bronx Art Space from Wednesday, August 14th until Friday, August 30th.


2013 PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards 
THE ACTIVIST AWARDS - next submission period opens October 1, 2013
The PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards identify outstanding work done by photographers in collaboration with nonprofit organizations worldwide and awards prizes ranging from $2,000-$15,000. In previous years, work was submitted on behalf of 435 nonprofit organizations from 88 different countries.

This year, PhotoPhilanthropy will be honoring professional, amateur, and student photographers. Each photographer whose work is accepted receives a page on our website and exposure to a growing audience of concerned and committed global citizens.

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.