Photo by Amy Martin
Amy Martin Awarded First Place in
Through a Woman's Lens
Martin's stunning photographs of ice shelves and melting glaciers are a signal for global climate change.
SDN is thrilled to present the winners of Through a Woman's Lens, our women-only Call for Entries. The judges selected one first-place winner and four honorable mentions. The work submitted was outstanding and a clear demonstration of the commitment and interest in documentary photography and visual storytelling.   

First place winner is Amy Martin from the U.S. for her project Vital Signs: Climate Change in Antarctic Waters, " the story of human-driven climate change and provides a visual connection to what can be a perceptively invisible global issue." Amy's project will be featured in the upcoming Women's Issue of ZEKE magazine.

Honorable mentions are Amber Bracken for Standing Rock (U.S.), Heba Khamis for Banned Beauty (Cameroon), Emily Schiffer for Cheyene River (U.S.), and Danielle Villasana for A Light Inside (Peru). See below for more details on these projects.

We very much want to thank the jurors for their contribution to this Call for Entries:
  • Barbara Ayotte: Former Communications Director for MSH & PHR, Editor for ZEKE magazine and Communications Director, Social Documentary Network.       
  • Aida Muluneh: Exhibiting artist with work in the permanent collections of major international museums. Aida is the founder and director of the Addis Foto Fest and curates cultural projects with local and international institutions. 
  • Amy Pereira: Former Director of Photography at MSNBC (2013 - 2016) 
  • Molly Roberts: Senior Photography Editor, National Geographic magazine.  Acting director of the DC-based, Women Photojournalists of Washington. 
  • J. Sybylla Smith: Independent curator with more than 25 solo or group exhibitions featuring over 80 international photographers exhibited in the U.S., Mexico and South America.
  • Deborah Willis, Ph.D.: Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
  • Amy Yenkin: An independent producer and editor. Former director of the Documentary Photography Project at the Open Society Foundations.  
  • Daniella Zalcman: Documentary photographer. Founder of Women Photograph, an initiative to elevate the voices of female visual journalists.
SDN would also like to sincerely thank all of the photographers who submitted to this call. We look forward to seeing more of your work. Click here for more information on this Call for Entries and the prizes received by the winners. Click here to view all the submissions.   

First Place
Amy Martin
Amy Martin
The melting of large icebergs, such as this, are altering global sea levels and water chemistry, Antarctic Peninsula, December, 2017.  

Called the "canary in the coal mine" by climate scientists, the disintegrating ice-shelves and calving glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula are releasing more and larger icebergs into the surrounding seas each year, with 2017 setting records. Antarctica contains three quarters of all the ice on earth, and with temperatures in some areas increasing at a rate more than twice the global average, ice-melt is increasing global sea levels with an alarming trajectory. The changes in water temperature and chemistry are already contributing to devastating effects on sea life in the area.
Amy's stunning images are an urgent wake-up call for the world--invoking an irreparable loss while at the same time presenting a last glimpse of nature's majesty.
     --Barbara Ayotte, Juror

Amy Martin
As a documentary photographer, Amy Martin uses her camera's lens to increase awareness, understanding and compassion across physical and social barriers. Amy brings depth to her work from her diverse background as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Dominican Republic, a Park Ranger at Grand Canyon, and a conservation biologist in the American Southwest. Amy pairs with conservation and humanitarian organizations, documenting their stories and raising awareness of endangered landscapes and social injustices to spark action. Amy recently completed projects exploring the issues of statelessness on the Dominican/Haitian border, Latino farm workers on the Arizona/Mexico border and the long-term effects of uranium mining on indigenous people and lands. She also teaches Identity Through Photography workshops to children from marginalized communities. 

Honorable Mentions   
by Amber Bracken
Standing Rock, North Dakota, September 2016-February 2017. For over ten months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their allies camped in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing their land and water. The estimated $3.78 bill project is nearly complete, crossing almost 1,172 million.
more »
Amber Bracken is a member of Rogue Collective and lifelong Albertan covering assignments across the province and farther from home. She has worked with clients including The Globe and Mail, Reuters, Maclean's Magazine, The Canadian Press, Postmedia and Canadian Geographic. In her personal work, Amber's interest is in the intersection of photography, journalism and public service with a special focus on issues affecting first nations people.
Heba Khamis
by Heba Khamis 
Mothers in Cameroon iron their daughters breasts using heated cooking objects. Other tools also used include leaves, bananas, coconut, shells, grinding stones, ladles, spatulas and hammers heated over coals. Even magic is exercised. Mothers hope that flattening the breasts delays maturity or make. more » 

Heba Khamis presents Banned Beauty with a level of intimacy that could only be done by a female photographer. She shows us a difficult subject that's not widely known with nuance and grace.
     --Amy Yenkin, Juror
Heba Khamis is an Egyptian storyteller whose work concentrates on social issues that are often ignored. After graduating with a B.A. in painting, Heba made a career shift and worked as a staff photojournalist for El Tahrir, Egypt's daily newspaper and as a freelancer with international news agencies such as AP, EPA and Xinhua covering the two revolutions in Egypt, and their aftermath.
Emily Schiffer
by Emily Schiffer
In 2005, I founded a photography program for young people on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. For twelve years, my students and I have photographed together and are all subjects of each other's work. Our favorite locations are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes. more »

Emily Schiffer is a photographer and mixed media artist interested in the intersection between art, community engagement, and social change. Awards include: an Audience Engagement Grant from the Open Society Foundation, an Emergency Fund Grant from the Magnum Foundation, the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, winner of the PDN Photo Annual Personal Project Category, among others.

Danielle Villasana
by Danielle Villasana
Tamara, the first trans woman I met in Lima, Peru, often told me she wasn't going to live past 30. How could she, she'd ask, when society treats her as less than human? Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Tamara's death this year due to HIV and tuberculosis shortly followed her 30th birthday. more »

This is a very strong and well-edited body of work. You can tell the photographer had a close relationship with the subjects.
     -- Aida Muluneh, Juror

Danielle Villasana is an independent photojournalist whose documentary work focuses on women, identity, human rights, and health. She is currently based in Istanbul and contributes to Redux.

We thank the following partners for their support of
Through a Woman's Lens

Alexia Foundation
Bronx Doc Center

Digital Silver Imaging



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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.