Sept 2015 spotlight
Dear SDN Readers:

This issue of Spotlight awards two photographers with vastly different approaches to documentary the title of Featured Photographer of the Month--Susan Guice for her celebration of the beauty of the Gulf Coast from up above while acknowledging that the coast is being lost to salt water incursion, and B. D. Colen for his exhibit on maternal health and mortality in Haiti and the heroic work of Midwives for Haiti.

SDN just returned from our first trip to Perpignan, France to participate in the Visa Pour L'image Festival for International Photojournalism. We were thrilled to present ZEKE magazine in the bookstore, which was visited by thousands, and to meet with many photographers with work on SDN as well as other leading and aspiring international photojournalists. Clearly the one overriding theme at the festival was migration, the refugee crisis facing Europe, and the root causes of the crisis -- primarily the war in Syria. While this issue of Spotlight has three exhibits addressing  migration, our next issue of ZEKE, due out in October, will have a feature article on migration, and we will be sending out an issue of InFocus soon featuring many SDN exhibits on this important theme.

While the issue of migration is one of tragedy, as a community of photographers, we can be proud that one photo of a toddler washed up on the shores of Turkey by Nilufer Demir has changed the world overnight. This photo has transformed public opinion and government action on migration no less than Nick Ut's photograph of Kim Phuc shortly after a napalm attack in Mai Lai did for Vietnam 43 years ago.

Glenn Ruga
SDN Founder and Director

Sept2015 Featured Photographers

Top photo by Susan Guice from Disappearing Wetlands of the Gulf Coast .
Bottom photo by B. D. Colen from Birth in Haiti. 
Susan Guice/September 2015 Featured Photographer of the Month
Disappearing Wetlands of the Gulf Coast     

Every 15 minutes an area of land the size of a football field is disappearing due to saltwater incursion. As I fly over these largely unoccupied areas, I document their beauty, before they disappear forever.  This is the wetlands of South Louisiana and South Mississippi, responsible for almost one third of the seafood in the United States, and a major nesting area for waterfowl. 

View Exhibit >>

Susan Guice Susan Guice is a Texan who claimed South Mississippi as her home in the early 1980s. As a licensed commercial pilot, she has worked in aerial and commercial photography throughout the Gulf Coast region. A day came when she realized that she should use her skills and resources to reveal the precious and fragile beauty that surrounds the Coastal Region. The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum (Biloxi, MS) will be host to a solo show of this work through December 6, 2015. The show also includes a series of black and white photos of children underwater: Similarly pointing to the importance of environmental responsibility. Susan lives on Biloxi Bay with her 9-year old son, Breton, her husband, Reed, a collection of beautiful cats and a Quaker parakeet named Peppy.

B. D. Colen/Septetmber 2015 Featured Photographer of the Month 
Birth in Haiti--With Midwives for Haiti 

Seen from afar in the rainy season, the Central Plateau of Haiti is a breathtakingly beautiful place, with its rolling green, brown, and yellow hills and valleys and surrounding mountains. But the reality of this portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola is anything but beautiful. It is, in fact, a hard, mean place, the poorest region of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where daily existence is a never ending struggle, and maternal and infant mortality, and the death rate for children under five, are all the highest in the hemisphere. This is why a dozen years ago a small NGO called Midwives For Haiti settled in for the long haul, providing care to women and children, and training Haitian midwives and birth attendants.

View Exhibit >> 

B.D. Colen B. D. Colen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter and editor for The Washington Post and Newsday. He has covered the historic 1963 March on Washington for a weekly newspaper the week after he turned 17, and hasn't stopped shooting since. Colen has taught documentary photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2001, and has also taught at the Harvard University Extension School, the Maine Media Workshops, and has taught private workshops.He is the author of 10 books on medically related subjects. His photography has appeared in, among other publications, The Boston Globe, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Baltimore Sun, Newsday, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Christian Science Monitor, and Time Magazine. Some 30 images from his ongoing subway project are included in the permanent collection of the Boston Public Library.

September 2015 Spotlight

Featured exhibits submitted to SDN in August 2015  

Sarah Stirk
by Sarah Stirk/United Kingdom

In the darkness of 3:30 am on the Stade Beach in Hastings, Sussex, Paul Joy and his crew prepare to set out to sea cuttle-fishing. For Paul and hundreds of other small fishing communities around the UK, it's a way of life going back nearly a thousand years. But they say that they're now ...

Suvra Kanti Das
by Suvra Kanti Das/Bangladesh

Dhaka's Hazaribagh area, widely known for its tannery industry, has been listed as one of the top 10 polluted places on earth by two international research organizations. At least 160,000 people have become victims of pollution due to the presence of toxic chemicals, mainly chromium...

Amir Hossein Khorgouei
by Amir Hossein Khorgouei/Iran

Bandar Kong, one of the largest dhow boat-building plants in southern Iran, makes traditional cargo ships and fishing vessels built with wood

Azad Amin
by Azad Amin/Iran

This project is a series of portraits of dog owners and their dogs in their neighborhoods. These people are blamed for taking care of their dogs and being kind to them by some people because owning dogs in Iran is illegal. The relationship between these pets and their owners are full of mutual love ...

by Erin Lee/Mexico

Without Borders -- how borders affect daily life within Mexico, physically and metaphorically. The crossing between Tijuana and San Diego is the world's busiest border crossing which divides people of the two cities in a wide range of differences: language, culture, security. In another part ...

by Ludovic Sirtaine/Belgium

This project is about people. Random people (sometimes living) in the street. People you don't usually talk to, who have a story harder than most, usually. The gift of a beer, of food, of an ear, for a little while, the gift that they are not worthless and that they can cry if they want ...

by Charles Mifsud/United States

When I embarked on a 6,500 km journey from Chicago to San Francisco following historic Route 66, my belief is always that traveling is first about experience. Photography matures from this experience. I yearned to learn if the American dream is still alive or if this is a myth. Sharing experience...

by Go Nakamura/Turkey

This series of photos shows some people who live in a tented village, an informal refugee camp, located on the outskirts of a town of Reyhanli, Turkey. Because this town is located right by the border of Syria, lots of Syrian refugees and seasonal workers go through this town.

by Jerry Nelson/Argentina

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the Malvinas Islands and the war with Britain was on. Not wanting to draft the sons of the ruling class, the military dictatorship reached into Northern Argentina and grabbed farm kids. Without giving them sufficient training, or appropriate gear, these kids were...

by Ramin Mazur/Moldova, Republic of

Epidermolysis bullosa, also called "butterfly disease", is a group of rare inherited skin diseases that are characterized by the development of blisters following minimal pressure to the skin. In the Republic of Moldova there are about 50 people with this disease. They are not recognized...

by Andrei Dragoi/Italy

The news of the No Borders Camp, and the 150 or so stranded African migrants, who have been sent back from France in early June 2015, has come to be a hot news topic. It faded within a few days, as the newsworthy material happened to migrate north to Calais, and more recently, towards...

by Loren Anderson/United States

Most people in one way or another have been touched by cancer. Age, income, race, and social status doesn't matter, we are all vulnerable. Because of this, I began the project to show the strength and courage of those affected by the disease, whether they are patients or caregivers. The ...

by Dhruv Dhawan/India

Mumbai Sleeping illustrates the diversity of a basic human experience against India's vast socioeconomic gap. Mumbai is India's most affluent city yet nine million of its residents live in slums and over one million are homeless. Each day, approximately 1400 migrants flock from the...

by Phil Decker/Mexico

This exhibit combines images created thirty years apart, with many of the "then and now" pairs including the same people and places.   The series enables us to visually explore the impact of migration on specific families and communities...

by Joseph O'Connor Lincoln/Kenya

Education is something that happens not only at school, it is a continual assimilation of potentially infinite understandings of concepts and ideas. Through our experience we are able to develop a concept of 'self' and awareness of others, this enables us to conceptualize and encourage...

Advisory Committee
Kristen Bernard
Lori Grinker
Steve Horn
Ed Kashi
Jeffrey D. Smith
Stephen Walker
Frank Ward
Jamie Wellford

Glenn Ruga
Founder & Director

Barbara Ayotte
Communications Director

Paula Sokolska
ZEKE Writer & Editor 

Caterina Clerici

Special Issue Editor  

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SDN News

Order ZEKE Magazine in Print or Digital

ZEKE Cover
ZEKE magazine is available in both print and digital formats and features work of leading SDN photographers. The first issue features water scarcity, the Bangladesh garment industry, and Rio de Janeiro as it prepares for the 2016 summer Olympics with photographs by Dario De Dominicis, Suvra Kanti Das, Tiana Markova-Gold, Rudi Dundas, and others.
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srebrenicaEight-Week Documentary Master Class with Glenn Ruga begins September 15  
Designed for photographers who are working on, or are interested in working on, a body of documentary work culminating in a portfolio or a multimedia presentation. The focus of this Master Class will be shooting and in-class critique. The class will be held in Belmont, Massachusetts.
More information and to register>>

Submit Your Work to SDN
Find out how to have your work featured on the SDN website, included in ZEKE, Spotlight, and eligible for Featured Photographer of the Month.
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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.