Spotlight Banner Dec 2014
          Photo by Andrea Star Reese from "Urban Cave.
Andrea Star Reese/December 2014 Featured Photographer of the month
The Urban Cave
The Urban Cave is a seven-year documentary about the resilience and humanity of people who live unsheltered on the other side of conventional society; about a group of individuals and the full spectrum of their lives, rather than just their deprivations. The images are in response to the beauty of a place, a people, and the dignity, determination, and perseverance reflected in their culture. In the tunnel and on the street they took care of one another, saved lives, stood together against predators and extended comfort. At this time the tunnel has been evacuated, the Batcave sealed off, the people dispersed... View Exhibit >>

Andrea Star Reese Andrea Star Reese is a photojournalist/documentary photographer based in New York currently photographing an ongoing project in areas of South East Asia and The United States. The Urban Cave, a multi-year project on long term unsheltered men and women living in makeshift housing in New York City was first exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image 2010 where it was a Visa d'Or, Feature nominee. The project received the 2014 David Pike Award for Excellence in Journalism Photography, and Best Social Documentary from The 2009 New York Photo Festival. Urban Cave was a finalist for the 2013 FotoEvidence book award and the 2011 POYI: World Understanding Award among other recognitions. Most recently Urban Cave was included in traveling exhibitions for FotoEvidence and ReGeneration 2 and exhibited at Theory of the Clouds Gallery, Kobe, Japan, and the 2013 Athens Photo Festival. Formerly a free-lance videographer, Reese began her transition to still photography while directing a feature documentary film made up of short stories collected during the 2003-2004 Indonesian run up to the country's first direct democratic presidential election. On staff at the International Center of Photography School, and a tutor at the 2013 Angkor Photo Festival Workshop, Andrea Star Reese is a 2010 fellow in Photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a reGeneration2 photographer. Read full bio>>

Other featured projects submitted in November 2014

Farming seaweed from sun to sun>>
by Luis Barreto D/Indonesia

Seaweed is usually planted every 35 days. After the harvest, farmers dry the seaweed under the sun for two to three days, depending on the season. During the rainy season, drying can take a week. Dried seaweed is sold by the farmers to traders, who will then resell to other big cities for processing...

Teens and the Loneliness of AIDS>>
by Carol Allen Storey/Uganda

"AIDS is a war against humanity. We need to break the silence, banish the stigma and discrimination and ensure total inclusiveness within the struggle against AIDS. If we discard the people living with HIV/AIDS, we can no longer call ourselves human" ...

Peruvian Weavers>>
by Susan Kessler/Peru

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, lies the rural village of Patacancha. Here the villagers dress in traditional clothing, speak the ancient language of "Quechua", and live in much the same way as their ancestors did. They support themselves through farming, and raising livestock. An...

Vila Brandão>>
by Diana Bejarano/Brazil

As many Latin American cities, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, is a place of aggressive social contrasts. The exclusive neighborhood of Vitoria is home of modern residential buildings and hotels with majestic views of the bay; it has the most expensive real estate in the city with many luxury stores and ...

Newburgh NY and the unseen>>
by Tom Kavana/United States

Newburgh, NY is located 60 miles north of New York City. Newburgh is now the "Murder Capital of New York State". It is ranked in the top ten least safe cities in the US to live. These are some of the people who exist within the city lines. To say they live there would less than honest. These people...

Shatila refugee camp>>
by Pascal Amos Rest/Lebanon

The Children and Youth Center Shatila provides space for the children and youth of the refugee camps to develop their potential. They try to give all children and young people a safe place where they can learn and play. Shatila, one of the oldest Palestinian refugee camps, is located in the heart ...

charity: water, Rwanda>>
by Andrew H. Kim/Rwanda

charity: water is a non-profit organization that aims to bring clean drinking water to developing countries around the world. In 2012, a family in Rwanda was featured in the organization's September Campaign to help raise funds for a new clean water system. Two years later, the tap ...

Seeds of the Word>>
by André Paxiuta/Brazil, Portugal, Belgium

In the words of John Paul II "the new communities announce the power of God's love which in overcoming divisions and barriers of every kind, renews the face of the earth to build the civilization of love". As a new movement within the Catholic church these communities congregate a...

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SDN News

SDN Launches Call for Entries

Visual Stories Exploring Global Themes The theme of this Call for Entries is the new tagline of the Social Documentary Network (SDN), "Visual Stories Exploring Global Themes." The category is broadly defined but the key point is that we are not only looking for a collection of great images, we are also looking for cohesive visual stories. The work must be based in the visual language, but words can go a long way in providing context and giving viewers what the images alone cannot.
More information and to apply >>

First Place: One photographer
  • Work from winning entry will be exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center and photographer will be acknowledged as First Place winner.
  • $500 honorarium
  • Featured in ZEKE Magazine
  • Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN's 7,500 followers.
  • Featured on SDN's home page.
  • Featured on SDN social media.
Honorable Mention: 2-4 photographers at discretion of judges:
  • Work from winning entry will be exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center and photographers will be acknowledged as Honorable Mention.
  • Featured in ZEKE Magazine
  • Featured in email Spotlight sent to SDN's 7,500 followers.
  • Featured on SDN's home page.
  • Featured on SDN social media.
  • Felicia Anastasia: Founder and Creative Director of Anastasia Photo Gallery in New York.
  • Barbara Ayotte: Director of Strategic Communications for Management Sciences for Health
  • Sam Barzilay: Creative Director of United Photo Industries; co-founder of Photoville.
  • Alice Gabriner: International Photo Editor at TIME magazine.
  • Molly Roberts: Chief Photography Editor at Smithsonian Magazine.
  • Glenn Ruga: Founder and Director, Social Documentary Network.
  • Jeffrey D. Smith: Executive Director, Contact Press Images.
  • Jamie Wellford: Former International Photo Editor, Newsweek Magazine.


About Social Documentary Network 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.