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Dear Spotlight Readers:

Migration is again the featured story in this issue of Spotlight. Simone Perolari, an Italian photographer now living in Paris, brings us these compelling black and white images from his series "Unwelcome," documenting refugees arriving in southern Europe, and the rude welcoming they find. Not all nations, or individuals, are as magnanimous as Angela Merkel has been. Even in her own country, Germany, there have been many violent and, in some cases, deadly attacks on recent immigrants. The migration crisis is now entering a new phase with an ominous agreement between the EU and Turkey, to send migrants -- after making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing -- back to Turkey for processing before being granted asylum. The EU has agreed to settle one refugee already in Turkey for each migrant returned to Turkey. This hardly solves a problem of war, persecution, and unfathomable hardship in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many countries in Africa, that is fueling the crisis in the first place.

It is coincidence that two of the other exhibits featured in this issue of Spotlight are from Palestine. One, by Craig Stennett, is about Camps Breakerz, a breakdance troop in Gaza -- not the type of story one would normally expect from this strip of land more often associated with war and strict adherence to Sharia law. The other, by Eric Cortés, is a conversation with a Palestinian photojournalist Hamde Abu Rahma from Bil'in in the West Bank, and accompanying photographs of Bil'in by Cortés.

As this issue of Spotlight goes to press, we are putting the finishing touches on the spring issue of ZEKE magazine. We are very excited to be entering our second year of publishing and for the first time we are now offering the magazine on a subscription basis. This issue will feature articles on Climate Change, Criminal Justice, and the South Caucasus with photographs by Daro Sulakauri, Jamey Stillings, Ara Oshagan, and others. There will also be an interview with the extraordinary Russian photojournalist, and World Press Photo winner, Sergey Ponomarev. Click here to find out more and to subscribe!

Glenn Ruga
SDN Founder & Director
Digital Silver Imaging


Simone Perolari Banner

Photo by Simone Perolari from Unwelcome.
Simone Perolari
Spring 2016 Featured Photographer of the Month
Unwelcome (Greece, Spain, Italy, France)   

LAMPEDUSA. Undocumented immigrants from North African countries inhabit the same 20 square kilometer area as tourists vacationing on the island but without ever meeting. For those seeking asylum, the crowded immigration detention centers on the island are akin to open-air prisons where human rights are considered optional.

MELILLA. Migrants arrive from all over Africa, traveling on foot through the bush and the desert and remaining hidden for years in the forests of Morocco, waiting to "get over the network." Pursued by soldiers and subjected to every kind of violence, many do not make it. Some would also embark for the Spanish Islands from Mauritania, but the borders are now closed there.  
View exhibit and complete text >>

Simone Perolari Portrait
Simone Perolari was born in Italy and now lives and works in Paris.
In 2001, he started a work-in-progress titled "Come in uno specchio," or "About us." It is a reportage about the most important and prestigious international photographers. In 2003, he became a full-time photojournalist and in 2008 he joined the Grazia Neri agency, where he remained until the historic agency closed. In 2005 and 2011, he traveled with refugees in Italy and Spain and in the following years, followed the movement of migrants into Greece and France. In the same year, he began a collaboration with Amnesty International where he published two documentary projects entitled "Lampedusa: Ingresso vietato" and "Invisibili."  He produced a campaign entitled "Invisibili," an awareness raising campaign for the rights of undocumented minors in detention centers. He is now implementing a project entitled "Unwelcome" on refugees arriving in Europe. He also does portraits and stories for major Italian and international magazines. Clients also include: Lavazza, Alstom, Altrad and Bipca. His archives are syndicated by LUZphoto and Invision Images.

April 2016 Spotlight
Featured exhibits submitted to SDN in March 2016

by Craig Stennett/ Palestinian territories
It's not easy to go and visit 'The Camps Breakerz' crew of breakdancers in the Gaza Strip and it is almost impossible for them to come and visit you! Established in 2004 by Muhammad al-Ghreiz, or Funk as he is known, it has its main 'crew' center in ...
by Eric Cortés/ Israel
The captions in this exhibit are the thoughts and testimony of Hamde Abu Rahma, a photojournalist from Bil'in in the West Bank. Bil'in (Arabic: بلعين) is a Palestinian village located west of the city of Ramallah in the central West Bank. The village has a population of 1,800,...
by Carla da Silva/ United Kingdom
This is a collection of images looking at how youth countercultural groups of urban dancers, skateboarders and roller skaters re-appropriate a commercial space in East London and re-imagine a pluralist playground. The narratives of trespass and occupation of...
by Vitor Queiroz/ Cambodia
Kat Sak is the Khmer expression for haircut.  Having a haircut in Cambodia can be a singular experience each time. In the next alleyway, around the corner, in the shade of a tree, you can find these unique microcosmos everywhere. Encapsulated in this male, oriented world, you will...
by Daniel Roca/ Spain
The Port Pilot is one of the older professions and almost unknown to most of the population (the first sea pilot's corporation in Spain was in the 15th century). They are mariners with high professional qualifications and extensive experience in navigation; they provide security for the ...
by Meghanadan A S/ India
Dogs are said to be man's best friend, but they are often neglected and left to die by their owners or even on the streets. People on the streets treat them in the worst possible manner. Either by throwing stones, kicking or abusing. Luckily, there are a few people who take care of these innocent...
by Rusty Leffel/ United States
Here in mid-2016, during an election for the President of the United States of America, "hate" has become a central election year issue. In the news, we see fistfights and rhetorical bullying from inside the rallies. In the meantime, outside on the sidewalks ...
by Johann Walter Bantz/ France
This is a story about a homeless family, Bulgarian or Romanian, that travels in France from village to village with their old caravan and horses for selling wicker baskets.
by Camila Belleza/ Brazil
A little peek in a Pataxó's life. The Pataxó are a native tribe in Bahia, Brazil but last April we had the opportunity to photograph a few moments of the group near Sao Paulo. The history of the Pataxó people has been a series of acculturation episodes with the creation of...
by John Stratoudakis/ Greece
Almost from the beginning of the severe financial crisis, John Stratoudakis captured the daily life and struggle of Alexandros, Tasos, Elias and Thodoris. They are young farmers and breeders from the village of Drakeia on Mount Pelion. Young men with dreams, hopes and wishes like the rest of their ...
by Susan Fan/ India
People have been making clay bricks for thousands of years. India is the second-largest producer of bricks and employs an estimated 10 million people around the kilns. In north India the majority of kilns in use are the Fixed Chimney Bull's Trench Kiln, a technology introduced in the late 1800s ...

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

Caterina Clerici

Special Issue Editor 

Emma Brown
Intern, Tufts University

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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.