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  Photograph by Nikki Denholm from "Mothers of Bosaso Maternal Health in Somalia". 
Dear Spotlight Readers:

We are thrilled to send out a second Spotlight this month to present more of the terrific work submitted in January to our Call for Entries on Documenting What Matters. Thank you to everyone who entered!  
First-place winner in the Call for Entries is Sarah Blesener for "Toy Soldiers." Honorable Mentions are Fabien Dupoux, Valerie Leonard, Younes Mohammad, and Woong-jae Shin. Click here to read about and see their winning projects. 
"Toy Soldiers" by Sarah Blesener will be featured in the spring issue of ZEKE Magazine. Her work explores the rising nationalism among youth in Russia. Other features in the upcoming issue of ZEKE will include Iran by Iranians and maternal health and mortality in Africa and Haiti. We will also have a very provocative article on how photography can make change by Anna Akage-Kyslytska as she talks with Vicki Golderg, Amy Yenkin, Donna Ferrato, Ruddy Roye, and others. Click here to subscribe.
Glenn Ruga 
SDN Founder & Director     

February 2017 Spotlight, No.2  

Featured exhibits submitted to SDN in January  


Gabriel Romero
Liberation and Longing - The Battle for Mosul>>
by Gabriel Romero/ Iraq

The Battle of Mosul began on October 16, 2016 with forces besieging Islamic State-controlled areas in the Nineveh Governorate surrounding Mosul. The coalition forces fighting the Islamic State consist of elements of the Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga Forces, Shia Militias and US, French and British ...

Ralph Piezas
Prison Ink>>
by Ralph Piezas/ Philippines

Tattoos, or "patik," as the people from Cebu City would call them, have long been associated with a strong negative stigma in society. Yet behind this perception there are stories worth telling. Isolated and behind bars, one of the only ways the prisoners can pass the days is to think....

Mehdi Nazeri
Poverty in Wealth>>
by Mehdi Nazeri/ Iran

Bandar Abbas is one of the three economic hubs of Iran. Millions of dollars are displaced daily and all the big industries including Iran's largest commercial dock, petroleum, steel mills, aluminum plants, bitumen factories and hundreds of factories and other large commercial centers ...

Kieth Harmon Snow
Effacer le Tableau>>
by Keith Harmon Snow/ Central Africa

Countless forces have perpetrated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Africa's Great Lakes region. The almost permanent insecurity and violence in the region is driven by corruption, dictatorship, and the global demand for natural resources. Armed conflict and ...

Nikki Denholm
Mothers of Bosaso Maternal Health in Somalia>>
by Nikki Denholm/ Somalia

Somalia is arguably one of the most dangerous countries in the world; with its grim history of Al-Shabaab, piracy and famines, but the stories and faces behind this are seldom captured -- in particular the profound impact 20 years of civil war has had on maternal and child health in ...

Georgi Dundua
Under the labour migration yoke>>
by Giorgi Dundua/ Georgia

In 2013, I was in Turkey. I was interested in the life of the Georgian immigrants. I was in a shoe factory. The factory is located under ground. Working conditions are very bad--dust, smoke, noise. The workers are working non-stop during the day. They have no right to abandon the work environment ...

Kibera: A Slice of Heaven>>
by Maureen Ruddy Burkhart/ Kenya

Kibera, Africa's largest urban slum, has a bad reputation, but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. At a propitious time in my life, I accepted a position as photographer with a Kenyan-based micro-enterprise (hygiene) and women's empowerment project ( Seeing past the ...

In the Name of Jesus>>
by Alena Kuzub/ United States

Reverend Sinisa Ubiparipovic is a Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in Hingham, MA. Parishioners call him Father Sinisa. He is an outgoing 29-year-old, who likes to travel and tells jokes during Mass. He used to sing in a Catholic student band and appears on Catholic TV and works with youth. Ubiparipovic ...

Young Community/Old Country>>
by Marco Valle/ Italy

Migration is one of the main engines of the formation process of the world's social system. The description of this phenomenon, usually tied to the news, rarely focuses on what happens after whole communities settled down in a particular territory. The Italian Sikh community has become the...

#NotMyPresident - Women's March, New York, NY. 21 January, 2017.>>
by B. D. Colen/ United States

#Dump Trump #NotMyPresident - On January 21, 2017, well over one million persons gathered in cities across the United States and around the world to protest the assumption of the Presidency of the United States by reality television star Donald Trump. Billed as a "Women's March," ...

The Work of the Sicarios (Hired Killer)>>
by Michele Crameri/ Honduras

San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa are two cities in Honduras. Every year they are hit by violent murders. During the first 10 months of 2016, 4,270 people have been murdered. The city of San Pedro Sula counts 2,950 victims. For the fifth consecutive year it has been considered the most violent city in ...

Wingless butterflies>>
by Ehsan Kamali/ Iran

Eb (Epidermolysis bullosa) disease is one of the world's most painful disorders of which unfortunately no treatment has been found. It is scientifically called Epidermolysis bullosa or butterfly disease. It is a genetic disease and patients since birth have a very sensitive skin and ...

Black Smile>>
by Ariz Ghaderi/ Iran

This photo collection is about the children of a gypsy family located in Iran, Khorasan Razavi province, near Karizak-e Nagahanivillage. These people had to migrate from their Province (Zabul) because of lack of work. They now live in a very difficult and poor situation. ...

Black Lives Matter UK>>
by Janine Wiedel/ United Kingdom

"Black Lives Matter UK", began in solidarity and outrage at the fatal and brutal shootings by police in the USA. As Natalie Jeffers, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter UK said: "there might be fewer guns used in the UK, but there is a war going on against black people". In Britain there...

Territories in Resistance>>
by Ze Barretta/ Brazil

This is an ongoing project about social movements fighting for decent housing in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The squatters occupy vacant buildings downtown and empty lands on the outskirts of the city. The project started in 2014 and tries to take a closer look at the people who integrate the movement, ...

Caballitos de Huanchaco, The Last Generation>>
by Claudia Ruiz-Gustafson/ Peru

Climate change is disproportionately affecting the indigenous populations of the world. Their traditional cultures and ways of life are fast disappearing in a world with unpredictable weather patterns, ocean pollution and acidification and industrialization. Every summer when I was in college, I ...

Taking Shelter: Inside the Motels that America's Homeless Families Call Home>>
by Belinda Soncini/ United States

The economic recession of the last decade caused thousands of Massachusetts families to become homeless. Once the shelters became full, the state turned to motels to shelter them, often far from family, friends and their children's schools. Most families end up homeless due to unforeseen...

Mountainland: Vietnamese Photographs - North Northwest>>
by Sascha Richter/ Viet Nam

The highlands of northern Vietnam are home to diverse ethnic minorities. Rugged mountains and beautiful, but harsh landscapes are shaping the environment for the people living on the periphery of the state. Balancing between traditional livelihood and modern state structures, this mainly ...

The Midwives of Kalongo>>
by Jessica Pepper-Peterson/ Uganda

Kalongo is a remote village in Northern Uganda about a three-hour drive on dirt roads from the next largest village. It is also home to Kalongo Hospital and the St. Mary's Midwifery School, one of the most prominent in sub-saharan Africa. The students of St. Mary's are trained to work...

Advisory Committee
Lori Grinker
Steve Horn
Ed Kashi
Molly Roberts
Jeffrey D. Smith
Stephen Walker
Frank Ward

Glenn Ruga
Founder & Director

Barbara Ayotte
Communications Director

Caterina Clerici

Special Issue Editor 

Kelly Kolias
Laney Ruckstuhl

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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.