ZEKE Award Winners 2021
This is Photoville’s tenth-year anniversary celebration and the fourth year SDN will be exhibiting. We hope you can join us in-person on Saturday, September 18, virtual on Saturday, October 2, or visit our exhibition of the 2021 ZEKE Award winners any time between September 18 and December 1.
2021 ZEKE Award Recipients
First Place is shared by:
Sofia Aldinio is an Argentine-American documentary photographer and storyteller based between Joshua Tree, California and Baja California, Mexico, for Awake in the Desert Land.
Awake in the Desert Land is an ongoing project documenting how climate change is uprooting small, inland and coastal communities in Baja California, Mexico, that depend directly on natural resources to survive and thereby threatening cultural heritage.
Nicolò Filippo Rosso is an Italian documentary photographer based in Colombia, for Path Away.
Two months after Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Central America, leaving 4.5 million victims of flooding and mudslides, 11 thousand people gathered in San Pedro Sula, starting the first migrants' caravan of the year directed to the U.S. The migrants’ crossing through gang-controlled areas, deserts, and jungles was made even harder by the pandemic. International aid is scant, and many migrants’ shelters and charity kitchens closed their doors to avoid contagion.
Five Honorable Mentions are awarded to:
Kirsten Rebekah Bethmann, from the U.S., for Bear and Fanny, a project exploring the complexities of marriage when a spouse is afflicted with dementia and their partner is required to take on the role of caretaker.
Misha Maslennikov, from Russia now living in Ukraine, for The Don Steppe, an exhibit that defies a simple explanation about the inexorable boundary between the earth and sky in the steppe of the Rostov-on-Don region of Russia.
Ashkan Shabani, from Iran, for “Eshgh, Tars, Azadi” (Love, Fear, Freedom) about the struggle to be gay in Iran and where any type of sexual activity outside a heterosexual marriage is forbidden and homosexual sex is punishable by death based on the laws of Sharia.
Richard Sharum, from the U.S. for Campesino Cuba, a four year documentation of the Campesino people and culture of rural Cuba.
David Verberckt, based in Hungary, for Unending Ethnic Conflict in Burma, a project that explores Myanmar’s never-ending ethnic conflicts through documentation of the borderland states, government-controlled areas, and ethnic armed groups-controlled territory.
Barbara Ayotte: Communications Director for Social Documentary Network and Editor of ZEKE Magazine. Senior Director of Strategic Communications at GBH.
Greig Cranna: Founder and Curator, Bridge Gallery, Cambridge, MA.
Michael Ensdorf: Professor of Photography/Journalism & Media Studies and Founder and Director of the Gage Gallery, Roosevelt University, Chicago.
Lou Jones: Independent photographer and founder of the panAfrica project, Boston, MA.
Chelsea Matiash: Senior Editor, Digital Transition Strategy at The New York Times.
Maggie Soladay: Photo Editor, Open Society Foundations.
About The Organization
Social Documentary Network (SDN) is a global community of documentary photographers, editors, curators, NGOs, students, journalists and others who believe in the power of visual storytelling to build understanding and appreciation for the complexities, nuances, wonders, and contradictions that abound in the world today. Since our founding in 2008, the SDN website has featured more than 3,500 exhibits by nearly 2,500 photographers from all corners of the globe. We produce gallery exhibitions, educational programs, lecture series, award programs, and our flagship print and digital magazine, ZEKE: The Magazine of Global Documentary. Recent exhibits on SDN have explored Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, the rising seas of Antarctica, life in Iran, asylum in America, teen mothers, and nomads of Kyrgyzstan.
The 2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography is presented by:
10 Year Anniversary Partner