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  Photograph by Antoine Tardy, Featured Photographer of the Month, from "The Other One Percent". 
In Defense of Globalism

Dear Spotlight Readers:

The greatest irony of the 2016 US presidential elections was working-class voters coming out overwhelmingly in support of a billionaire businessman who has never lifted a finger to support ordinary people. Voters were taken by Trump's campaign promise of America first, believing he would bring back manufacturing jobs to the US by closing the doors to the world. The same fundamental process allowed the Brexit vote in the UK to succeed and Marine Le Pen to be a contender in last week's presidential elections in France.
Globalization is not the cause of unemployment unless globalization means concentration of wealth by the global elite. The solution is not to cut ourselves off from our brothers and sisters around the world who struggle with all the same problems of war, poverty, famine, disease, unemployment, and oppression--which are, tragically, universal. Rather, we have much more to gain by acknowledging our commonality with a global community. Factory workers in Detroit and coal miners in Appalachia have much more in common with coal miners in Silesia and diamond miners in South Africa than they ever will with the inhabitants of Trump Tower in NY or with the scions of Wall Street. Conversely, and problematically, the Trumps of the world have much more in common with the new billionaire class in Shanghai than they ever will with their working and middle-class voters at home.

The universal values of human and civil rights around the world are our greatest strength. The enlightened elites of the world understand that the only hope for their own security and for a healthy planet for their children and grandchildren is to support a world -- and not just their own country -- free of disease, hunger, war, and oppression. And this has never been more true with a world glued together by the internet, overwhelmed by refugees fleeing war, and vulnerable to global pandemics.
SDN and ZEKE magazine are committed to using the documentary form to increase our understanding of, and solidarity with, ordinary people across the globe who are struggling to make their way on this planet we call home. Our current Call for Entries is titled "Celebrating the Global Community" precisely for this reason. This month's featured photographer, Antoine Tardy, does exactly that with his project on refugees who have turned their extreme hardships around and have discovered how important education is both to their future and to overcoming the traumas of their past.

Glenn Ruga 
SDN Founder & Director     

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ZEKE: The Magazine of Global Documentary

SDN Advisory Committee 
SDN would like to welcome two new members to the  Advisory Committee -- Amy Yenkin and Jamey Stillings. We would also like to thank Steve Horn for his nine years of service on the committee. Click here for a complete list of Advisory Committee members and their bios.

F E A T U R E D   P H O T O G R A P H E R   O F   T H E    M O N T H 
Antoine Tardy 
The Other One Percent, Kenya and Jordan 

Antoine Tardy
Photo by Antoine Tardy. Bushra, 23, from Dara'a, Syria. In Irbid, Jordan since 2013.

Worldwide, there are over 21.3 million refugees. Only one percent have access to higher education. This exhibition tells the stories of refugee students in Kenya who overcome all the bleak figures, odds, boundaries and labels to take control of their lives and achieve success on their own terms. These are the stories of individuals who do not let their unfavorable situations define who they are and who they want to become. These are stories of those who have the chance to unlock their potential, who are translating their hardships into motivation. Ultimately, these are stories of resilience and hope, of solidarity and determination, of self-realization in the face of adversity.
View exhibit and complete text >>

Antoine Tardy
Antoine Tardy finds his purpose in documenting and telling human stories. To do this, he calls upon his early years studying journalism and social sciences, his incurable curiosity and wanderlust, and his professional background in branding and outreach while working in communications and advocacy for international organizations in Geneva. Over the years, Antoine has contributed images to a number of websites, magazines, outreach material and reports, in particular for the benefit of non-profit organizations. His work has been exhibited in Paris, Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Dhaka, New York, and Islamabad, among other places. Antoine is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is available for projects worldwide.

May 2017 Spotlight

Photographers featured on SDN in April 2017

Blas Santander
A fearless fight for freedom and democracy>>
by Blas Santander/ Venezuela

The Venezuelan Supreme Court violated the nation's constitution on March 30 by dissolving the National Assembly's legislative powers -- in other words, a coup d'etat. The government controlled CNE (National Electoral Council) is denying the people their right to vote and President Nico...

Andrea Star Reese
by Andrea Star Reese/ Indonesia

Disorder is a documentary photo-reportage concerning abuse against people with psychosocial disabilities in Indonesia.

Maarten de Kok
The Next Stop>>
by Maarten de Kok/ Greece

Exactly a year ago, the EU-Turkey deal came into force. The deal stipulates the return of individuals arriving irregularly by boat to Greece back to Turkey, in exchange for increased EU resettlement of Syrians from Turkey, large sums of aid to Turkey, and the easing of EU visa restrictions for Turkish...

Astrid Schulz
Phnom Penh: 'People of the City'>>
by Astrid Schulz/ Cambodia

The photos of this exhibition were commissioned for a chapter in a collaborative photo book project. The book has the title 'Phnom Penh CAPITAL CITY' and is describing the fast urban development in Cambodia's capital city. In this chapter 'People of the City', a variety of ...

Chasing Ancient Sicily Family Roots: Good Friday in Enna>>
by Paul Marotta/ Italy

I'm traveling to ancient Sicily for three weeks in April in search of both Sicily's and my own cultural heritage. Sicily is an ancient island with varied and deep roots. I'm traveling alone for a week, then with my wife's family for 10 days, and then my brother joins me for several days and ...

by Suvankar Sen/ India

Bohurupi literally means to imitate different kind of forms that make a man of special character. It is a rural art that has been prevalent for almost 200 years and is a dying art in West Bengal. Its practitioners have for generations earned modest amounts from their ...

by Nadia Tyson/
"Jambo" (most common greeting in Swahili). These photographs reflect the authentic daily lives of the different peoples of Tanzania. The photos can be divided into mainly three categories: the urban life of the capital city Dar es Salaam; the Masaai tribe; and the people of Zanzibar.
The Lumen Seed: working with Warlpiri people to prevent indigenous suicide>>
by Judith Crispin/ Australia

I am working with the Warlpiri community in the Australian Tanami desert on an indigenous suicide prevention app. We are losing three aboriginal people a week to suicide, and an indigenous person is four times more likely to take their own life than a non-indigenous person. These photographs form th...

Township Dominos>>
by Oliver Petrie/ South Africa

During a hot afternoon in Khayelitsha, the biggest and largest growing township in the Western Cape, a group of young men play a game of dominoes under the shade of a sheet-iron shack. The streets are full of people, cars and noise but the game captivates their mind. A hip hop jam session is ta...

Communities and Coal Mining in Colombia>>
by Esther Rodriguez/ Colombia

Coal Mining in the departments of Cesar and La Guajira in Colombia have devastating effects on the communities living in the impact area: lack of access to land, lack of water, air pollution, respiratory diseases, extreme poverty... pristine green areas turned arid. Many of the communities had to be...

Life in Resguardo Venado, A multi ethnic community in the Amazon>>
by Esther Rodriguez/ Colombia

I recently had the opportunity to live for a short while in the multi-ethnic community of Venado, in the Amazon (Colombia). I was the only visitor there and had the opportunity to observe first-hand the daily life of these people: an idyllic existence, a self-sustained community in a gorgeous ...

Advisory Committee
Lori Grinker
Ed Kashi
Molly Roberts
Jeffrey D. Smith
Jamey Stillings
Stephen Walker
Frank Ward
Amy Yenkin

Glenn Ruga
Founder & Director

Barbara Ayotte
Communications Director

Caterina Clerici

Special Issue Editor 

Kelly Kolias
Laney Ruckstuhl

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Documentary Matters
Tuesday, June 7, Boston
Lou Jones to be Guest Presenter 
Lou Jones If you are looking for feedback on your documentary work or a place to meet with others involved with or interested in documentary photography, join SDN and Digital Silver Imaging for Documentary Matters. This is a free and open meeting for anyone interested in presenting, viewing, or discussing documentary photography. Glenn Ruga from the Social Documentary Network and ZEKE magazine will moderate the meeting. More » 

About Social Documentary Network
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.