Who We Are
Founder and Director, Social Documentary Network
Executive Editor, ZEKE Magazine
Glenn Ruga is a photographer, graphic designer and curator. He founded the Social Documentary Network (SDN) in 2008 as a web platform for a global community of documentary photographers to present their work online. As a photographer, he has created traveling and online documentary exhibits on the struggle for a multicultural future in Bosnia, the war and aftermath in Kosovo, and on an immigrant community in Holyoke, Mass.
In 2015, Ruga launched ZEKE: The Magazine of Global Documentary, a print and digital magazine presenting the best stories from the Social Documentary Network.
In 2012, Ruga was one of three curators of the New York Photo Festival where he curated three exhibitions including work by Bruce Davidson, Platon, and Eugene Richards, Reza, and Lori Grinker.
From 2010-2013, Ruga was the Executive Director of the Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University. He curated numerous exhibitions while at the PRC including "Global Health in Focus" featuring work by Kristen Ashburn, Dominic Chavez, and David Rochkind. Ruga is also the former Publisher and Art Director of Loupe, the magazine of the PRC.
From 1993 through 2009, Ruga was the founder and president of the Center for Balkan Development, a non-profit organization established to help stop the genocide in Bosnia and create a just and sustainable future in the former Yugoslavia.
Glenn has a B.A. in Social Theory from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a MFA in Graphic and Advertising Design from Syracuse University.
Communications Director, Social Documentary Network
Editor, ZEKE Magazine
Barbara Ayotte is a communications and media strategist for leading nonprofit organizations and a writer, editor and life-long human rights activist. She was the Senior Director of Strategic Communications for Management Sciences for Health, an international non-profit development organization working on global health issues in over 30 countries. Prior to that, Barbara was Director of Communications for Physicians for Human Rights and served as Communications Coordinator for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Barbara has a B.A. in English from Boston College.
Special Issue Editor, Social Documentary Network
Caterina Clerici is an Italian journalist and photojournalist from Milan, Italy. She graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in May 2012. Prior to moving to New York she was living in London and studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she earned a B. in Politics and Development Studies. Caterina works as an independent journalist and photojournalist for American and Italian online publications, mainly covering news, social and political issues at a national and international level and diaspora communities in the U.S. She also worked as a teaching associate for the Covering Religion class of 2013 at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and as a teaching assistant at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her long term print and photo documentary work includes projects on "Little Liberia," the Liberian refugee community in Staten Island, NY, homelessness in Milan, Italy, and life in the last mental asylums in Italy. She is also currently working on a video documentary on the Rockaway community in Queens, NY, almost a year after it was hit by superstorm Sandy.
Lori Grinker, New York, NY
Lori Grinker began her photographic career in 1981 while a student at Parsons School of Design when Inside Sports published her photo-essay about a young boxer as its cover story. During that time she met another young boxer, 13 year-old Mike Tyson, who she documented for the following decade. Since then, in addition to her reportage of events such as the destruction of the World Trade Center, she has delved into several long-term projects, and published two books: The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (Jewish Publication Society, 1989, 6 editions), and Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict (de.MO, 2004).
Published in major magazines, her work has earned international recognition, garnering a World Press Photo Foundation Prize, an Open Society Institute Distribution grant, a W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund fellowship, the Ernst Hass Grant, The Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Grant, and a Hasselblad Foundation Grant, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world and are in many private and museum collections including: The International Center of Photography (ICP), The Jewish Museum in New York City, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Between editorial assignments, commercial jobs (represented by MEO Represents), and personal projects, Grinker lectures, teaches workshops, and is on the faculty of the ICP in New York City. She is represented by the Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York and has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1988. www.lorigrinker.com
Catherine Karnow, San Francisco, CA
Born and raised in Hong Kong, San Francisco-based National Geographic photographer Catherine Karnow seems destined to have travel and photojournalism at the center of her life. She graduated Brown University with honors degrees in Comparative Literature and Semiotics.
Catherine has covered Australian Aborigines; Bombay film stars; Greenwich, Connecticut high society; and an Albanian farm family. In 1994, she was the only non-Vietnamese photojournalist to accompany General Giap on his historic first return to the forest encampment in the northern Vietnam highlands from which he plotted the battle of Dien Bien Phu. She also gained unprecedented access to Prince Charles for her 2006 National Geographic feature, “Not Your Typical Radical.”
Catherine has been photographing in Vietnam for over 26 years. Her retrospective: VIETNAM: 25 YEARS DOCUMENTING A CHANGING COUNTRY opened at the Art Vietnam gallery in Hanoi in April 2015 and Catherine was profiled in a PBS documentary about art in Vietnam, which aired May, 2015.
Her work appears in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, French & German GEO and other international publications.
Catherine's passion for photography carries into her love for teaching. She teaches the National Geographic Weekend Workshops in San Francisco. She also gives private workshops and teaching seminars all over the world, for a myriad of private, corporate and editorial clients, as well as her own Signature Photo Workshops in Umbria in May, and Vietnam in October.
Ed Kashi, Monclair, NJ
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator dedicated to documenting the social and political issues that define our times.
Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. His innovative approach to photography and filmmaking produced the Iraqi Kurdistan Flipbook. Using stills in a moving image format, this creative and thought-provoking form of visual storytelling has been shown in many film festivals and as part of a series of exhibitions on the Iraq War at The George Eastman House.
An eight-year personal project completed in 2003, Aging in America: The Years Ahead, created a traveling exhibition, an award-winning documentary film, a website and a book which was named one of the best photo books of 2003 by American Photo. Along with numerous awards, including honors from Pictures of the Year International, World Press Foundation, Communication Arts and American Photography, Kashi’s editorial assignments and personal projects have generated four books. In 2008, his latest books will be published, both by powerHouse Books; Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta and Three.
“Ed Kashi is intelligent, brave and compassionate. He always understands the nuances of his subjects. He fearlessly goes where few would venture. And he sympathetically captures the soul of each situation. Ed is one of the best of a new breed of photojournalistic artists.” David Griffin, Director of Photography, National Geographic
Eric Luden, Cambridge, MA
Eric Luden has been surrounded by art and photography all his life. After graduating from Boston College, Eric worked in the professional retail photo industry as well as a commercial and fine art photographer. In the 1990s, he served as a consultant to Eastman Kodak’s education division and later joined Ilford Photo where he worked for the next 13 years. At Ilford he gained a profound knowledge of photographic processes, photography labs and the needs of the photographic community. When he left Ilford, he was VP of Marketing for Ilford’s parent company, HARMAN Technology.
In 2008, Eric left Ilford to start his own company, Digital Silver Imaging (DSI), in Belmont, MA. Over the past 11 years, the lab has grown and earned an international reputation as a fine art printing company. During that time, Eric has worked with many noted photographers, galleries, museums, and institutions. Digital Silver Imaging has been a sponsor for Look3, Photoville, Palm Springs Photography Workshops and the New England Portfolio Reviews.
In 2015, Eric began a partnership with Photoville that continues to grow each year. DSI has collaborated with SDN and numerous artists, including VII Foundation, Blue Earth Alliance, Catchlight, MFON and many others to help bring their exhibitions to life during this two week festival in Brooklyn. Eric continues to support many areas of documentary photography. DSI has been the host for SDN’s “Documentary Matters” series of presentations since the program was founded in 2016.
In addition to DSI, Eric serves on the Board of Directors at the Griffin Museum of Photography and is a member of the advisory committees at Lesley University College of Art & Design and at New England School of Photography. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife, J. Sybylla Smith, an independent photo curator and consultant.
Lekgetho Makola, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lekgetho Makola is the Head of Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. He sits on the International Advisory Committee to the Board of CatchLight – San Francisco, and was on the Curatorial Advisory Committee of the 2017 Bamako Encounters - Mali. He was in the judging panels for the W. Eugene Smith International Photography Award 2016, CAP Prize Award 2017/2019, Ernest Cole Photography Awards 2017, the Thami Mnyele Arts Awards 2017/2018, the World Press Photo Global Talent Programme – Africa Region 2018 and the World Press Photo Jury-Portraiture 2019 and Chair of Jury of 2020 World Press Photo Award. sHe is an International Ford Foundation Fellow on Social Justice 2009, and a Graduate of Howard University in Washington DC USA with a MFA in Film Studies 2013. He worked for the Durban Art Museum, Robben Island Museum including an internship at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. He co-founded Kali TV, an online media platform in 2012. Market Photo Workshop
Molly Roberts, Washington, DC
Molly Roberts is an independent visual storyteller, photography editor, curator and photography teacher living in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Roberts was recently a Senior Photography Editor at National Geographic Magazine where she produced award winning stories on subjects featuring Archeology, History and World Culture. She led the photography department at Smithsonian Magazine for 16 years bringing recognition to the magazine as a National Press Photographers association award winning visuals team for multiple years. She recently spent an academic year at Ohio University as a Knight Fellow in the visual communications program studying, film, video, bias in the media and the history of intentional communities in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.
Committed to the power of visual storytelling to inform and engage communities about important issues in the USA and elsewhere, Roberts created the non-profit HumanEYES USA, which helps to bring American issues into sharper focus through photography, video and art. HumanEyes uses artistic and innovative approaches to inspire informed discussion, encourage civic engagement and create solutions for pressing American issues.
Roberts also continues to lead as an advisor and board member to many photographic organizations; including Social Documentary Network, Women Photojournalists of Washington, Ripple Effect and ArtWorks Project.
She has been an invited reviewer, speaker, panelist and judge for various professional organizations and has been involved in educational photo reviews and panels.
Jeffrey D. Smith, New York
Jeffrey D. Smith was born in 1959 in New York City, USA. Freelancing as a photographer while a student, he received a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and a M.S. in Magazine Reporting and Writing from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. After serving as a picture editor at Woodfin Camp and Associates in New York City syndicating the work of Newsweek staff photographers, he joined Contact Press Images in 1986 as director of sales, becoming its executive director a few years later. He has directed the photographic coverage operations of the agency for more than two decades. He routinely negotiates complex editorial and commercial agreements and maintains a strong background in intellectual property and copyright law. Jeffrey has served on photographic juries at the ICP and Overseas Press Club of America. In addition to serving as an expert witness at trial in the valuation of archives, he has written on electronic rights for the Columbia-VLA Journal of Law & The Arts. He lives in New York City with his wife, Sandra and children, Leanna and Ethan.
Jamey Stillings, Santa Fe, NM
Jamey Stillings' career spans documentary, fine art and commercial projects. He holds a BA in Art from Willamette University, an MFA in Photography from RIT, and has a diverse range of international commission clients. Stillings' work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Nevada Museum of Art.
The focus of Stillings’ work for the past several years has been on renewable energy development. Beginning in 2010, with a flight over the future site of Ivanpah Solar in the Mojave Desert of California, the finished project, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, is now a book and traveling exhibition.
The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar was the starting point for CHANGING PERSPECTIVES, Stillings’ multi-year aerial and ground-based photography project documenting important renewable energy development around the world. CHANGING PERSPECTIVES is sponsored by Blue Earth, a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports documentary projects that raise awareness of cultural, environmental and social issues.
Stillings' latest book, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, was published by Steidl in 2015. The Bridge at Hoover Dam, was published by Nazraeli Press in 2011. Jamey Stillings is represented by photo-eye Gallery and Etherton Gallery. jameystillingsprojects.com
Steve Walker, New York
Steve Walker is a consultant and educator with a unique blend of experience and skills in education, non-profit management, political advocacy, and government service. As a consultant, Walker focuses on helping non-profits become more effective and efficient in achieving their goals and on helping school districts and educators better prepare their students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century. A former US diplomat who resigned from the State Department in 1993 to protest Clinton Administration policies toward Bosnia, from 1993-8 Walker helped lead a successful campaign to raise awareness of the genocide in Bosnia and coordinate Congressional, grassroots, and other efforts to stop the genocide. He served as Director of the American Committee to Save Bosnia, the Action Council for Peace in the Balkans, and the Balkan Institute and, for over a decade, on the Board of Directors of the Center for Balkan Development. He also teaches history, economics, and foreign policy in New York. He has appeared on numerous national and international television and radio programs, including: Crossfire, Larry King Live, Nightline, The NewsHour, and CBS This Morning. He has published in numerous publications, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe.
Frank Ward, Williamsburg, MA
Frank Ward is a professor of art at Holyoke Community College. In 2012, he gave workshops in Central Asia as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State. In 2011, he was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for his photography in the Former Soviet Union. Also in 2011, his pictures were featured in Lost in Siberia, a book of essays by Vivian Leskes.
Ward has made many trips to the former Yugoslavia under the auspices of the Friends of Bosnia, and the Center for Balkan Development. The Polaroid Foundation and ViewCamera Magazine have awarded his work in Tibet and the Rotary Foundation has funded his photography in India. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts/ New England Foundation for the Arts grant for work with the Puerto Rican community in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Ward is in the collections of several museums, exhibits internationally and holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Bard College.
Frank Ward is represented by Photo Eye Gallery in Santa Fe, NM and he blogs at fmward.wordpress.com.
Amy Yenkin, New York, NY
Amy Yenkin is an independent producer and editor. She is a recognized expert in the field of social issue documentary photography, with an emphasis on the use of arts for social change, philanthropy, non-profit management, and strategic planning.
Amy is a former director at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), based in New York City. She joined OSF in 1994 as the deputy director of scholarships, and later held the positions of associate director of the Open Media Research Institute in Prague, associate director of US Programs, director of the Moving Walls exhibition, and director of the Documentary Photography Project (DPP), a program she founded and launched in 2004. During her tenure at OSF until she left in 2016, DPP exhibited and funded more than 300 photographers documenting human rights and social issues globally.
Prior to joining OSF, Amy worked in Washington DC as the director of government relations for NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where she represented US colleges and universities in lobbying Congress and government agencies on immigration policies affecting foreign students, and the hiring of foreign faculty and researchers.
Amy is also a member of the Activist Council of Planned Parenthood of New York City, a trustee at the Jewish Education Project, and an advisor to documentary photography funders and organizations. She is a recent past trustee and Vice Chair of the Rodeph Sholom School of New York City and previously served on the board of Media Impact Funders.