september, 2020

20sep2:00 pm3:00 pmConversation with the Winners of the 2020 ZEKE AwardPresented by Social Documentary Network

Indigenous Child in tribal makeup

Event Details

Photoville 2020 Talks On-demand recordings are made possible in partnership with PhotoWings with additional support by the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

ZEKE Award winners Kristen Emack, Jason Houston, and Nicoló Filippo Rosso will present their winning projects and discuss their views on the state of documentary photography today.

Jason’s project, Last Wildest Place, is an investigation into Indigenous communities in one of the most remote, inaccessible, and important areas of the Peruvian Amazon, and their struggle with encroaching deforestation, logging, mining, oil and gas development, cattle grazing, coca cultivation, agricultural expansion, and both legal and illegal road construction projects.

Kristen‚Äôs project, Cousins looks at her daughter and three cousins, four Black girls growing up in Massachusetts. ‚ÄúMy hope is that when they look back on this work, they will see the beauty of their childhood together, and when they look for everyday representations of themselves in the world, they will find themselves here, in this work we made together, reflected with love.‚ÄĚ

Nicoló’s project, Exodus is an investigation of the crisis in Venezuela, and a close look at some of the millions who are fleeing their homeland for Colombia and other neighboring countries, because of the lack of security, access to food, medicine, and essential services, and loss of income due to the political situation.

Please make sure to also check out corresponding exhibition Winners of 2020 ZEKE Award for Documentary Photography.

Featuring: Kristen Emack, Jason Houston, Nicoló Filippo Rosso


Kristen Emack

Kristen Emack is a photographer and public school educator who lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and holds a degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Kristen is a Mass Cultural Council Photography Fellow. She is a Critical Mass Top 50 Winner, a Michael Reichmann Project Grant recipient, a PDN Emerging 30 nominee, and her images are on Photoville’s The FENCE for the second time. Her interview in VOGUE Italia was published in February 2020, and was recently selected the 2nd place series winner in LensCulture Portraits. Kristen‚Äôs work includes two ongoing projects that look at childhood, family and visibility, and a finished series that looks at loss.

Jason Houston

Jason Houston was introduced to the Amazon region in 2015, as part of a team from Science Magazine, investigating the possible causes for a dramatic increase in contact events between isolated tribes and remote villagers. He has since returned a dozen times with Upper Amazon Conservancy and other organizations, to try and better understand the tenuous relationship between isolated tribes and settled Indigenous communities, and how loggers, drug traffickers, illegal mining, and new roads are encroaching on protected areas and driving these conflicts.

Jason has partnered with many organizations including The Nature Conservancy, WWF, UNESCO, USAID, and the Pulitzer Center on projects ranging from wildland firefighting in the American west, and maternal healthcare in Haiti and Nepal, to small-scale fisheries throughout the developing tropics. His work has been published editorially, and exhibited around the world, and he is a Senior Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a Fellow at Wake Forest University’s Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.

Nicoló Filippo Rosso

Nicoló Filippo Rosso is an Italian documentary photographer based in Colombia. He graduated with a degree in Literature at the Universitá Degli Studi Di Torino, in Italy. His work is committed to long term projects and he works on editorial assignments for clients such as Bloomberg News, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Le Point, Der Spiegel, Sette Corriere, VICE, Internazionale, Haaretz, Il Reportage, and for international NGOs such as Americares, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), UNICEF, and UNHCR.

Since 2016, Nicoló has been documenting the impact of the exploitation of coal on the land, and the people of Colombia’s La Guajira peninsula. This work has been exhibited worldwide, and it has appeared in numerous magazines and newspaper publications. Currently, he is mostly dedicated to documenting the migration of Venezuelans crossing the border with Colombia en route to other Latin-American countries. His project Exodus has received a World Press Photo award in the Contemporary Issues category, and the Getty Reportage Grant, in 2020.


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. Today, we have grown beyond the boundaries of a computer screen, and produce gallery exhibitions, educational programs, workshops, 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 the nomads of Kyrgyzstan. SDN’s Advisory Committee includes Lori Grinker, Catherine Karnow, Ed Kashi, Eric Luden, Lekgetho Makola, Molly Roberts, Jeffrey D. Smith, Jamey Stillings, Stephen Walker, Frank Ward, and Amy Yenkin.

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