Nadia Sablin
          Photo by Nadia Sablin from "Aunties".
Nadia Sablin/January 2015 Featured Photographer of the month
Aunties is a series of photographs detailing the lives of two unmarried sisters living in a Russian village. Alevtina and Ludmila are in their seventies, but carry on the traditional way of life, chopping wood for heating the house, bringing water from the well and making their own clothes. Vegetables they harvest in the fall and berries they gather in the summer supplement the meager pensions on which the elderly subsist in Russia. 
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Nadia Sablin Nadia Sablin Nadia Sablin was born in the Soviet Union and spent her adolescence in the American Midwest. After completing an MFA degree at Arizona State University, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her photographs have been shown at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Wall Space Seattle and Jen Bekman gallery among others. In 2013 Nadia received a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in Photography as well as being awarded the Firecracker grant for her work on the Aunties project. Photographs from this series are part of the permanent collection at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art library.
Call for Entries / Visual Stories Exploring Global Themes.
Deadline for submissions, January 18. More information >> 

January 2105 Spotlight

Scott Typaldos


by Scott Typaldos/Ghana, Togo, Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovina

BUTTERFLIES In Ancient Greece, drifting souls were often represented by butterfly symbols. This was a direct link to Psyche, the soul goddess, who was similarly depicted with delicate lepidoptera wings. When looking for a title for my work on the mental condition, ...

Nyani Quarmyne
by Nyani Quarmyne/Mauritania

Located in the desolate southeast of Mauritania, the Mbera refugee camp is home to some 60,000 Malian refugees. Predominantly Tuareg and Arab, they spoke of fleeing persecution at the hands of black Malians and the Malian army. Few were optimistic about the prospects for peace, or a safe return to to...

Alvaro Laiz
Wonderland, the Strange Inhabitants from Orinoco Delta>>
by Alvaro Laiz/Venezuela

The Orinoco Delta was first colonized by humans back in Medium Neolithic. For the past 8,000 years, one of the last native South American people has taken shelter inside its mangrove labyrinth: the Warao. Deep in the swamps it is still possible to make out a world ruled by spirits where small ...

Ingetje Tadros
Caged Humans in Bali>>
by Ingetje Tadros/Indonesia

The focus of the project 'Caged Humans in Bali' will be to raise much more awareness of the issue of "Pasung". Pasung is the physical restraint by way of chains, ropes and cages of the mentally ill in Indonesia under the care of their families as there is a lack of Governmental support...

Michelle Frankfurter
by Michelle Frankfurter/Mexico

Meaning both "destination" and "destiny" in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding a better life in the United States. It is the...

Daily Life for Yazidi Refugees>>
by Jodi Hilton/Turkey

About 4,500 Yazidi refugees live in Fidanlik Park, a camp established in Diyarbakir after tens of thousands of Yazidis from Singar in Iraq escaped ISIS and fled into Turkey. Eleven camps across the border region have been established to provide Yazidis with temporary refuge. Most of the camps...

The Forever Clock>>
by Alice Proujansky/United States

Inequity doesn't just affect the working poor. It also afflicts the middle class. These images document one of a growing number of 24-hour daycare centers that have sprung up to meet the needs of working families whose jobs ask more and more while providing less in return. This project focuses...

Black Diamonds>>
by Jason Andrew/Turkey

Football is more than a sport in Africa. It defines neighborhoods, strengthens tribes and, in extremes, unifies nations --bringing warring African countries to temporary truce so that the game can be played. But over the last few decades, globalization has altered the traditions of the game,...

Bringing Home the Dead; Kobani Martyrs from Turkey>>
by Jodi Hilton/Turkey

In Diyarbakir, a majority Kurdish city of 1.5 million in southeastern Turkey, funerals for young fighters killed in Kobani are now common. It's a pain that brings back memories of the worst days of Turkey's war with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). During the thirty-year conflict...

People of Hanoi>>
by Astrid Schulz/Viet Nam

H Nội means "the hinterland between the rivers" (H: river, Nội: interior). The city recently celebrated its 'birthday' -- one thousand years of eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities. Nonetheless, H Nội still ...

Holy Town>>
by Sara Hylton/India

Known as the mythological birthplace of Lord Krishna, it is estimated that some 20,000 of the four million widows in India live in the holy town of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh. In traditional Hindu culture, once a woman loses her husband, she is unable to remarry and is expected to renounce all earthy pleasures...

In Transit: The Prison Buses>>
by Jacobia Dahm/United States

With 2.3 million people in prison, the US has the largest prison population in the world. An estimated 2.7 million American children have a parent in prison, and approximately 10 million American children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. After sentencing, prison...

Trusting the Spirit Path>>
by Jacobia Dahm/United States

Connie Williams and her husband, Richard, lived in a little house in Platte City, Missouri for 33 years. With her husband in poor health, Connie, 65, has never made close friends. Richard, 71, suffered from PTSD after the Vietnam War and later developed diabetes as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange...

The Empty Chair>>
by Ian Forsyth/United Kingdom

Parkinson's Disease is a long-term neurological condition that affects the way the brain coordinates body movements including walking, talking and writing and it affects both men and women. It is a disease that needs further research and understanding. This story documents one man's struggle...

Displaced by Palm Oil: Indonesia's Last Orangutans>>
by Sandra Hoyn/Indonesia

Globally, the demand for palm oil is on the increase. Indonesia is market leader in global palm oil production. Palm oil is used for food, cosmetics and as biofuel. The rain forests are destroyed to grow more oil palms. Palm oil plantations are replacing four-fifths of the rain forest in Indonesia ...

Drug War in Juarez>>
by Richard Ellis/Mexico

The violence and destruction that hit Juarez, Mexico as a result of the ongoing drug wars between rival gangs transformed a once thriving border city into a wasteland. More than 32 people a day were being brutally murdered by gangs and often the police were working for drug cartels. 

Mysterious and Deadly - Nodding Syndrome>>
by Ric Francis/Uganda

Lubiri Village (Pader District), Uganda. Nodding Syndrome is a mysterious and devastating neurological condition which stunts growth, causes its victims to nod (repeatedly dropping their heads forward), have epileptic seizures, and causes cognitive deterioration. In severe cases it can result in...

Dilemma of Education>>
by Ric Francis/Uganda

Northern Uganda is still recovering from twenty years (1986 - 2006) of armed conflict that led to a major humanitarian crisis: 1.8 million people were displaced. An estimated 25,000 to 28,000 children were abducted during the period as the result of an insurgency by the Lord's Resistance Army...

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Steve Horn
Ed Kashi
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SDN News

SDN Call for Entries
Winners to be exhibited at Bronx Documentary Center and Featured in ZEKE Magazine.

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 >>

Media That Matters Conference
February 6-7, 2014
American University, Washington, DC
Media That Matters is an annual conference 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.
More information and to register >>

Eight-week Portfolio Master Class with Glenn Ruga
Eight Tuesdays starting March 3
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Digital Silver Imaging, Belmont, Massachusetts
Tuition: $550
Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Portfolio Master Class Designed for photographers who are working on, or are interested in working on, a body of work culminating in a portfolio or a multimedia presentation. Developing skills of conceptualizing a project, shooting, printing, editing,  sequencing, and communicating the concept of a project are the objectives of this Master Class.
More information and to register >>


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.