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SDN Announces Winners of Call for Entries on Narrative Documentary is thrilled to announce the four winners of the Call for Entries on Narrative Documentary. First Place Winner is Paolo Patruno from Italy for his exhibit on maternal health in Africa. SDN followers may be familiar with Paolo's work from our Special Issue on Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health in Africa that we published last year. 


Honorable mentions are Gabriela Bulisova from the U.S. for her exhibit on re-entry after incarceration, Susi Eggenberger from the U.S. for her exhibit on a young Iraqi girl severely wounded by American soldiers, and Florian Müller from Germany for his exhibit on the garment industry in India.  


This is the first SDN Call for Entries where we considered multimedia as part of the submission. It was also the first where we evaluated the submissions on the strength of the story. There were many submissions that may have had stronger individual images, but the jurors selected these on their ability to present a narrative. 


We very much want to thank the jurors, all of whom are members of the SDN Advisory Committee, for support of this project:

  • Barbara Ayotte, Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences for Health, Boston
  • Lori Grinker, Independent documentary and editorial photographer 
  • Ed Kashi, Independent documentary and editorial photographer and filmmaker 
  • Reza, Independent documentary and editorial photographer and humanist
  • Glenn Ruga, Founder & Director, 
  • Jeffrey D. Smith, Executive Director of Contact Press Images
  • Jamie Wellford, Former International Photo Editor, Newsweek magazine 

SDN would like to thank all the photographers who submitted to this call for entries. Click here for more information on this Call for Entries and the prizes received by the winners. Click here to view all the submissions.  


Call for Entry Sponsors:

Adobe  Digital Silver Imaging  

First Place  
Paolo Patruno 

Paolo Patruno
Photograph by Paolo Patruno. A young girl with her first newborn, sitting on her grandmother's bed.


Birth is a Dream: Maternity in Africa


Every year in Sub-Saharan Africa, 200,000 mothers die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, 1.5 million African children are left without a mother. A mother's death is a human tragedy, affecting families and communities. Her death endangers the lives of a surviving newborn and any other young children. A great many of these deaths are preventable, when women have access to quality prevention, diagnostic, and treatment services; most maternal death and morbidity can be prevented when pregnancy and childbirth are attended by skilled health professionals (nurses, midwives or doctors).


A harrowing look at the complications of childbirth in Africa. Very strong visual work, both stills and video, about the crisis that effects so many mothers and children in the developing world.  

-Jamie Wellford
Former International Photo Editor, Newsweek Magazine
SDN Advisory Committee Member

View exhibit & multimedia >> 


Paolo Patruno

Paolo Patruno

Paolo Patruno is an Italian social-documentary award-winning photographer and filmmaker. He has traveled throughout Africa over the past ten years, documenting global topics, including health care, education, human rights, sustainable development, poverty; among international NGOs he worked with MSF, SEVA CANADA, UMCOR.


Since 2011 Paolo Patruno has been working on his personal long-term documentary project "Birth is a Dream: Maternity in Sub-Saharan Africa"  which aims to document and raise awareness about maternal health in Africa, he has already shot across Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda.


His work has been featured on Impatient Optimist (Gates Foundation blog), SDN/Special Issue on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Africa, NationalGeorgraphic NewsWatch, and many other media on-line.


Pictures and videos from BIRTH IS A DREAM have been awarded and received special mentions: 6th Pollux Awards, PhotoAnnualAwards, SIMA (Social Impact Media Awards), Humanitarian Reporting Competition, and others.

Honorable Mention  
Gabriela Bulisova 

Gabriela Bulisova
Photograph by Gabriela Bulisova. "A large part of me does not feel like I deserve a second chance," says Lashonia..  



Time Zone     

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey, 39, spent half of her life in prison for a double homicide. While her crime was violent and irreversible, Lashonia worked hard to transform her life in prison. Given her good behavior, she was paroled in December 2011. The subjects of imprisonment and its aftermath are among the most important and overlooked topics in America today. With 7.1 million people under the supervision of correctional authorities, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world.


A powerful portrayal, particularly the video, of the crossroads that exist between crime, victim, and emotional repair. There is the sense of desperate human renewal in the work that is very penetrating and I think pertinent in a country that incarcerates enormous numbers of people.  

-Jamie Wellford

View exhibit & multimedia >>    


Gabriela Bulisova
Gabriela Bulisova

Gabriela Bulisova is a documentary photographer and multimedia artist based in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on underreported and overlooked stories affecting marginalized populations around the world and in the United States.  


Bulisova has received numerous recognitions and awards, including: The National Press Photographers Association's Short Grant; Winner of the 2013 Sondheim Prize; Open Society Institute's Moving Walls 18; The Corcoran School of Art and Design Faculty Grant Awards; The Aperture Portfolio Review Top Tier Portfolios of Merit; A CEC ArtsLink Projects grant; A Puffin Foundation Grant; The PDN Annual Photography Competition Winner in the Student Category; The CANON "Explorer of Light" award.


Bulisova's projects have been published and extensively exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally. Bulisova was also a participant at the Eddie Adams Workshop for emerging photographers, and a graduate fellow at the National Graduate Photography Institute at Columbia University in New York, NY.

In 2005, she was awarded the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Photography and Digital Imaging from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in photojournalism at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, in Washington, D.C., and is a member of Metro Collective Photo Agency, and of Women Photojournalists of Washington.

Honorable Mention
Susi Eggenberger

  Susi Eggenberger Photograph by Susi Eggenberger: Leaving her pregnant mother and three siblings behind, Noora and her father left their home and country, for the first time, to travel to the U.S. for life saving surgery.  


Collateral Damage: Noora's story


During the height of the Iraq war, four year old Noora was riding with her three siblings in the back seat of the family car, when a U.S. sniper opened fire from a house rooftop. The family was returning home after having attended a Ramadan celebration at her grandfather's home, several miles away, in Hit, Iraq. The bullet entered the left temporal area of Noora's head, exiting out her forehead, shattering a large portion of her skull in the process. Miraculously, Noora suffered no brain damage.


Well-executed portrait of this young girl's ordeal and the love of her father.

-Barbara Ayotte
Director of Strategic Communications, Management Sciences for Health
SDN Advisory Committee Member 

View exhibit & multimedia >> 


Susi Eggenberger
Susi Eggenberger
Susi Eggenberger is a freelance documentary photographer who has pursued a wide range of projects, from recording the first interactions and growing friendships between Israeli and Palestinian teenagers at a summer camp in Maine to street photography in Europe and the humor of the American summer beach scene.  

In her work with non-profits, such as M.A.P. International and Mano-a-Mano, Susi documents lives that would otherwise go unnoticed by the general American public.  An advocate for social change, she has spent the past seven years caring for and documenting the journey of an Iraqi girl who was shot in the head by a U.S. sniper in 2006, seeing photography as a catalyst for confronting the truth.

Among her awards and recognitions she has received honorable mentions from both the Worldwide Pollux Awards and Women in Photography International.  She has exhibited at the Fraser Gallery in Washington DC, the Stage Gallery in NYC and the Museum for Peace in Ohio.  Her documentary, "Dominique", a multimedia photo essay about a transgender woman living in a small town in southern Maine, was exhibited at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and was nominated for "Best Documentary Film" in the Maine Short Film Festival.

She is currently a contract photographer for Zuma Press.


Honorable Mention 
Florian Müller


Florian Müller

Photograph by Florian Müller. A worker in a cotton processing unit in the rural town of Lakthar unblocks a production line, that was jammed with a cloud of cotton.


Fashion Victims: Other People's Clothes  


Clothes make the man. But men and women who make the clothes for other people are often left behind. While India's growing middle class is following latest trends, the greedy tiger is chewing its working class for the well being of its economic prosperity. Once Ahmedabad was known as the Manchester of the orient and still today the steam engines are running in the textile factories along the Sabarmati River bank. Mahatma Gandhi once founded his ashram here. He sat at his spinning wheel and spread his ideas of a nation of equality, tolerance and non-violence. Today Indian reality looks different.

View exhibit >> 



Florian Muller
Florian Müller 
Born in Germany in 1982, Müller started his professional career as a video editor. In 2007, he decided to focus his work on still images and started to study at the University of Applied Sciences in Hanover, Germany.

Following the tradition of humanistic photojournalism, he feels committed to concerned photography and expresses his respect and empathy through this powerful medium. As good images take time and understanding, he likes to work intensively on deeper-perspective projects to raise awareness and responsibility on specific topics. Being located in microcosms or social niches, his work keeps an eye on the wider context and allows the beholder to draw a conclusion to his or her own life. Currently, Müller is based in Hanover and Frankfurt, Germany and works as freelance photographer.

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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.