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The 2014 Global Photo Contest Winner

CSSH Global Photography Contest 2016

We continued to be impressed with our students’ incredible international experiences during our 4th Annual Global Photo Contest! We received photographs from students who have traveled all over the world through Northeastern’s study abroad, Dialogue of Civilizations, global co-op, and NUin programs. Below are the winners, as voted on by students, faculty, and staff members during the CSSH Welcome  this fall. Come by our office in 180 Renaissance Park to see the rest of the finalists’ photos!

 

1st Place Winner: Ali Campbell

Political Science/International Affairs

International Co-op – Amman, Jordan

AliCampbell

What is the significance of this photo to you?

The hour or so prior to sunset is my favorite time of day to shoot photos in any country, so I was eager to shoot ‘golden hour’ while staying overnight in Wadi Rum- a massive desert in the South of Jordan. After driving up to the dune in an old four-wheeler, we climbed to the top. It was such an incredible experience to see the sunset over the vast dunes.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

Prior to traveling to Jordan for co-op, I had never lived or worked in the Middle East. Exploring the country and seeing places like Wadi Rum gave me a newfound level of excitement and intrigue in the region, in addition for giving me experiential context for the Middle Eastern politics I study in class.

 

 

 2nd Place Winner: Matthew O’Brien

International Affairs

International Co-op – Legrena, Greece

Matthew O'Brien

 

What is the significance of this photo to you?

I took this photo during my stay in Idomeni, Greece, which is located right on the Greece/Macedonia border. I went to Idomeni for a few days after my coop in Legrena finished in order to volunteer with the few thousand refugees (mostly Syrian) who were waiting at the border. Waiting… for something to happen. Waiting… for someone to make a decision. Waiting, helplessly, as political personalities larger than themselves left them in limbo.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

I believe I covered most of this in the above question, but clearly witnessing the happenings in the camp, experiencing the lives these people are living, being told about the lives they once lived, I’ve realized the world is much smaller than we assume. We are all brothers and sisters on this planet, all trying to find happiness and live a peaceful life amid the violence and tragedy that plagues our modern world. We are all trying to make “a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

 

 

 3rd Place Winner: Lina Lopez Lalinde

Political Science/International Affairs

International Co-op – Guatemala

DCIM100GOPRO

What is the significance of this photo to you?

This is a picture during an early morning kayaking session on Lake Atitlan in the highlands of Guatemala, a lake that has become very dear to me through my co-op experience. Despite the stress that comes along with moving to an entirely new country and beginning a new job, I have been able to remain happy and sane because I am able to see this beauty every single day. Any feeling of unease I have felt has quickly evaporated with the reminder that there are true gems like this in the world.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

This co-op experience has been completely life-changing. Living on the beautiful lake town of Panajachel has taught me so much about slowing down and appreciating a place for its culture and people. The Panajachel community has been incredibly welcoming and houses a wealth of beautiful cultures.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Claire Mancuso

Human Services

Dialogue of Civilizations – Tilonia, Rajasthan, India

claire_mancuso

What is the significance of this photo to you?
It is hard to believe that the lush spot surrounding the well exists in a dusty desert, in the middle of a drought, with temperatures soaring above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The local women, so stunning in their vivid colored saris, go about their daily tasks with such dignity–they appear like gemstones against the landscape. Barefoot College has been working for over 40 years to elevate the status of women in India by giving them the skills they need to be assets to their communities in ways that go beyond child rearing and domestic work. The water pump pictured was part of the first Barefoot project, and since the 1970s they have brought solar energy, drip irrigation, and modern healthcare to rural communities, putting that technology in the hands of the villagers themselves, and thereby rejecting the culture of dependency perpetuated by much of the development work of the twentieth century.Women serve as solar engineers and dentists, they weave clothing and manufacture sanitary napkins in communities where women and girls still use rags when they menstruate. Rural women know things that outsiders who come to help the poor cannot know, and they are the key to raising up their communities from their afflictions, from pollution to poverty to gender inequality.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

Rural people in the developing world exist in the western mind as ignorant, helpless, and unempowered by virtue of their livelihoods and lack of formal education. For so long, these communities have been seen as “undeveloped,” and as such are inherently in need of development by a Western agent. Barefoot College rejects this notion–if rural people are so helpless, how could they have survived for thousands of years in the wilderness, living in very much the same manner? Instead of condescending to rural people, Barefoot believes development practitioners should look to them for their vast stores of knowledge; knowledge of the land, of their animals, and of each other. In this way, communities can use twenty-first century advances in technology, medicine, and agriculture, integrating them into their traditional way of life. I saw illiterate grandmothers working on circuit boards. I saw nineteen year old college students volunteering their time to educate children in remote villages at Barefoot’s many night schools. My time in Tilonia transformed the way I saw development, and has caused me to never take the knowledge and specialized skills of the poor for granted.

 

Tegwen Evans

Cultural Anthropology

Dialogue of Civilizations – Berlin, Germany

Tegwen Evans

What is the significance of this photo to you?

This is one of my first photos that made it to my final collection. My series documented my process from distant observer to intimate participant in the Gay Communities in Berlin and the surrounding areas. This photo shows participants of a Gay Pride Fest in Dresden, Germany tensely acknowledging my presence. Here I contrast the celebratory setting with the individuals feelings towards being treated as mere subjects. This was a beautiful day in my life of celebrating Pride and triggered my confidence to become more intimate with the individuals of the community.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

Through this program I was able to see the beauty of the world and new rush of progressive optimism. My final conclusion of my series revealed the absolute normality of the Gay Community and how the fact that it is a marked community and area does not affect the city’s lack of Heteronormativity. The individuals who celebrate, the shoppers of fetish stores, the attendees of Gay nights and Gay clubs, are still completely seen as normal citizens and are equally involved in all activities, night and day. I have fallen in love with Berlin and gained confidence in the world’s potential to defeat Heteronormativity and Anti-Gay sentiment.

 

Aja Watkins

Philosophy

Dialogue of Civilizations – Berlin, Germany

Aja Watkins

What is the significance of this photo to you?

This photo combines the street art, history, and outdoor community space so characteristic of Berlin. Haus Swarzenberg is a courtyard owned by an artist collective, so the outdoor walls are covered in art. The Cafe Cinema is a historic business in Berlin, and the courtyard also provides access to several museums. I went to the Otto Weidt museum, which is located in the workshop where Weidt was able to save many blind and deaf Jews from Nazi persecution during World War II.

How did this photo and global experience allow you to see the world through a new lens?

Berlin is a very cosmopolitan city, which means that I felt more connected to the global community in Berlin than I ever have felt in Boston. I was able to experience so many cultures and so much history in one city, between engaging with the Turkish community in Berlin and recognizing all of the influences of the Holocaust and the Wall on Berlin society. This new global perspective is my new lens, and this photo to me symbolizes the culmination of many of the components of this.