Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim
  Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim from Where the River Runs Through

Aaron Vincent Elkaim Awarded First-Place in Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth
"Where the River Runs Through" documents indigenous communities in Brazil and their fight against the Belo Monte Dam--the fourth largest in the world. 
SDN is thrilled to present the winners of our Call for Entries, Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth. The judges selected one first-place winner and three honorable mentions. In an era when truth is malleable, we commend these photographers for showing us what governments, corporations, and sometimes the media do not want us to see. 

First-place winner is Aaron Vincent Elkaim from Canada for his project Where the River Runs Througexploring the consequences of hydroelectric expansion in the Amazon Rainforest. Aaron's project will be featured in the upcoming fall issue of ZEKE magazine.

Honorable mentions are Taha Ahmad (India) for A Displaced Hope, Scott Brennan (Mexico) for Indigenous Autonomy in Mexico, and Javier Fergo (Spain) for Europe's South Frontier .

Thank you to the jurors for their contribution to this Call for Entries:
  • Barbara Ayotte: Nonprofit communications professional, an editor for ZEKE magazine and Communications Director, Social Documentary Network.
  • Alice Garbriner: Freelance photo editor, consultant, mentor, and formerly the International Photo Editor at TIME magazine.
  • Kurt Mutchler: senior science photo editor at National Geographic magazine.
  • Quentin Nardi: Chief Photo Editor for Smithsonian magazine.
  • Niama Sandy: New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, and essayist. 
SDN sincerely thanks 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.

First Place
Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Munduruku women bathe and do laundry in a creek by the village of Sawre Muybu, on the Tapjos River in Para State, Brazil. The Munduruku are a tribe of 13000 people who live traditionally along the river and depend on fishing and the river ecosystem for their livelihood. They have been fighting against government plans to construct a number of hydroelectric dams on the Tapajos River in the Amazon rainforest that would flood much of their traditional lands. December, 2014.  

In 2007, Brazilian President Lula da Silva announced the Accelerated Growth Program. A cornerstone of the program was the construction of over 60 major hydroelectric projects in the Amazon with Belo Monte Dam at the forefront. The energy generated would fuel mining initiatives and power cities thousands of miles away. Nearing completion, Belo Monte, the fourth largest dam in the world, has displaced over 20,000 people. On the neighboring Tapajos River, the last undammed tributary of the Amazon River, the Munduruku tribe has been fighting with success to prevent a similar fate.

Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Aaron Vincent Elkaim is a Canadian documentary photographer. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in Cultural Anthropology before studying photojournalism. His work explores colonialist narratives where traditional cultures grapple with the industrialization of their lands. Aaron's work has been recognized by a number of institutions including the Alexia Foundation, The Canada Council for the Arts, PDN Photo Annual, the Society of Designers Publication Awards, the Daylight Photo Award, American Photography, the Magenta Foundation, the Lucie Awards, and FotoVisura, among others. His clients include The New Yorker, The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, and The Globe and Mail.  

Honorable Mentions   
Taha Ahman  
by Taha Ahmad 
The Ferozshah fortress built in the Indian capital Delhi in the 18th century remains a ruin nestled between a cricket stadium and the city's ring road. It is within these ruins that we find genie worship. Genies are supernatural creatures created out of fire, according to the Islamic texts. Thousands of people gather here every Thursday; praying, writing letters, giving money and lighting lamps to impress the genies for a better life. This has become a money-making mechanism for the self-proclaimed Godmen in the fort to exploit the misfortunes of the people who do not have the tools of education to question these practices and political agendas. more » 
Taha Ahmad is a documentary photographer based in Delhi, India. He developed an interest in documentary photography while pursuing his bachelor's degree. He feels photography has a strong influence in creating and developing discourse for the future. His photographs are framed in a way that preserves their reality, which he feels is undergoing an everlasting change.
Scott Brennan
by Scott Brennan  
This photographic project focuses on two indigenous populations that are working to enact social and environmental justice in the face of some of the world's most dangerous elements of organized crime and corruption. The communities are Santa Maria de Ostula and Cherán K'eri, both in the notoriously violent state of Michoacan in southern Mexico. These two municipalities have begun social movements of ethnically and culturally indigenous peoples establishing semi-autonomous, grassroots governments in response to rampant violence, corruption, environmental degradation and the failure of the social contract. more » 
Scott Brennan is originally from New York and has been living in Mexico since 2010. His main interest in photography is documenting the struggles of indigenous groups in Latin America and their ongoing fights to defend their territories and cultures. He graduated with a Master's degree in 2005 from The London College of Communication in photojournalism and documentary. This project is fiscally sponsored by The Blue Earth Alliance and this year won first place for Pictures of the Year International's Community Awareness Award.
Javier Fergo
by Javier Fergo  
Crossing the Mediterranean sea from Morocco to Spain is the fastest-growing sea route into Europe, according to the United Nations, and the number of migrants taking this route has tripled in the past few months. The dramatic situation in Libya, with higher casualties than the case of Spain, might be shadowing this growing issue. Spain holds an infamous second position on death toll in their waters, surpassing Greece. Spanish authorities are struggling to cope with the amount of people arriving. Spanish coastguards rescue people on a daily basis, mainly in the area between the Strait of Gibraltar, and in the Alboran Sea. more »

Born in Jerez, Cádiz, Spain 1980, Javier Fergo has been keen on the arts, film and photography since childhood. In 2005 he completed a Higher National Diploma in Photography at City of Bristol College, UK. Soon after, he moved back to Jerez, Spain, to start contributing to a local and national newspapers including El País, El Mundo, ABC, and Público and internationally through the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. 

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About Social Documentary Network
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 3,000 exhibits by nearly 2,000 photographers from all corners of the globe. Today, we have grown beyond the boundaries of a computer screen and produce gallery exhibitions, educational programs, calls for entries and our print magazine, ZEKE: The Magazine of Global Documentary. Recent exhibits on SDN have explored migration, the rising seas of Antarctica, Iran, asylum in America, teen mothers, and nomads of Kyrgyzstan. Click here to view all of the exhibits.