Global Encounters Photo Exhibit & Contest
The Lewis Global Studies Center Global Encounters Photo Contest and Exhibit provides a venue for Smith students to share their global experiences with the Smith community. All Smith students are encouraged to submit a photo or two depicting a global encounter they experienced abroad or within the United States. An event held in the fall semester will discuss photography composition, how to choose what to submit and how to abide by ethical photography guidelines.
Each student may submit up to two photos; each photo must be for a different category. The deadline to sumbit photos is Thursday, October 12.
- Up Close: Close-up images of a specific person or thing. (Micro view)
- From Afar: Expansive views of a place or culture. (Macro view)
- Learning moments: Social interaction between cultures or of the photographer's own immersion in a cultural context. Images that reflect "aha!" moments of discovery.
- Daily Life: Everyday moments in which one experiences culture and environment or simply the active participation in educational activities such as field work, discussion or reflection.
- Cultural oppositions: A view of two or more distinct cultures shown in relationship to each other.
How to Submit
Digital photos of up to 10 inches in longest dimension, at 300dpi can be submitted. Winning photos will be printed (roughly 8 x 10 inches) and displayed for the exhibit.
Save photos with a file name in this format: Country_Lastname_Firstname_class year.jpg (Kenya_Jones_Ann_12.jpg) and email the high-resolution digital photo files to email@example.com.
In the text of your email, include the following:
- Your name
- Class year
- Location of the image
- Category/categories to which you are submitting your photo(s)
- If you were participating in a college sponsored activity, include this information (i.e. study abroad, Praxis, Rhythm Nations, international experience grant, etc.)
- Brief artist statement about the photo
You will also need to include this sentence in the body of your email:
"I ____(type your full name here)___ give permission for Smith College Lewis Global Studies Center to use my photographs for promotional purposes in print and web materials."
The photo contest will take place online. All valid entries will be displayed digitally on the Lewis Global Study Center Facebook page.
The public may vote for a Viewer's Choice photo by "liking" the photo.
A panel of Smith experts in photography, visual anthropology and global culture will be invited to participate in a juried review of the contest submissions and will provide commentary on notable photos and techniques of the photos.
The intent of this juried review is to demonstrate the multiple perspectives on the impact of photographic images as well as the different disciplinary appreciations of photography as cultural documentation, aesthetic representation and student engagement.
Winning photographs will be display in the Nolen Art Lounge from October 28-November 10.
The reception will be on Friday, November 3 at 2:30 p.m. in Campus Center 103/104. The photo contest jurors will announce the selected winners and discuss why they chose the photos they deemed notable. Vote on Facebook for your favorites before the reception to help select the People's Choice photograph! The photograph with the most number of 'Likes' by noon on Nov. 3 gets the honor.
Maia Erslev ’18
Northwestern Yunnan Province, China
I took a photo of these women standing on one of the last remaining bridges on the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan trail. The woman on the left, He Yu Qing, is of the Bai minority group and she owns a shop next door to the hostel where I was staying. Her friend, of the Yi ethnic group, came over to the shop one day and the three of us went on a walk. When we arrived at the bridge, He Yu Qing grabbed my arm and said, “Take a picture of my friend and me!” The women are both wearing the traditional clothing of their respective minority groups and juxtaposed like this, you can see the difference in their dress pales in comparison to the strength of their friendship.
Tianhua Zhu ’18
Auschwitz II (Birkenau), Poland
The rail tracks leading into Auschwitz II had seen the arrivals of the Holocaust trains, which marked the end of life for numerous Nazi victims. The weather on that day of my visit was perfect, but the sunshine had never seemed so cold and cruelly indifferent.
Helena Thompson ’18
I took this photo opposite the Houses of Parliament on the way home from work. Many Londoners were unhappy with the Brexit vote, and stickers like this were put up all around the city.
Megan Carrera-Raleigh ’18
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This surreal view of a flamingo sanctuary employee arriving on site for the morning feeding strikes a beautiful juxtaposition of the static and the moving, and brings up questions of solitude of the subject, the ambiguity of who the subject of this photo even is, as well as the sensory limitations of photography; neither the cool humid air, nor the steady sound of scurry feet, or anything else can be felt, only imagined.
Megan Carrera-Raleigh ’18
This photo is extremely intimate and yet obviously invasive, depicting a family enjoying a Sunday by the Seine River in Paris. The angle it was taken at flattened the figures, the food, and allowed the subjects' faces to be hidden from view. It was primarily my curiosity about who they were, how they got there, and where they would go next that prompted me to snap their picture.
Katie O'Hara ’18
One of my first discoveries about the difference between Oxford University and American colleges is that at Oxford a majority of the students who join clubs are graduate students. I have always loved hiking and I wanted to see the English countryside, so I joined the Oxford Walking Club. I was excited to meet new British friends of my own age only to find out that most of them were international students in their third year of their D.Phil. While they welcomed me with open arms, I still occasionally felt homesick for my Smith friends. This was remedied when our club took a trip to the famous white cliffs of southern England. Instead of the cliffs of Dover, I was surprised to find out we were heading to the "Seven Sister Cliffs." This reminder of Smith helped cure my homesickness.
Janie Baek ’18
The picture was taken at Lu Xun Park at 7 a.m. for the sociology class I took when I was abroad at the host university. My roommate and I went to observe Tai Chi, which is usually performed in the early morning or late evening in groups at local parks. We spoke with the local elderly who have been doing this for decades for mental and physical health. We understood the cultural importance of how sacred and integral this tradition is in Chinese culture.
Jennie Kratz ’18
While on an independent travel break, my friend and I stayed with a Hungarian family living in Norway. We never connected with this family before our stay, yet they immediately welcomed us into their chaotic home, complete with a Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling, Egyptian-style Star Wars characters painted on the walls, and a room dedicated to crustacean skeletons. Throughout our three days at their home, they showed us around the island by taking us on a midnight hike to the cliffs to look over the Norwegian fjord, and, as pictured here, on a fishing trip through those fjords. We only caught one fish that day, but it was enough to elicit this unforgettable reaction from a city girl thrown entirely out of her element.
Caroline Previte ’18
Caballito, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The University of Buenos Aires is one of the most prestigious schools in Latin America. Knowing this, I was shocked to arrive my first day of classes at the philosophy and liberal arts campus to find the walls covered in political posters, spare furniture stacked in the hallways, dirty bathrooms and bare classrooms. Throughout the semester, class was regularly cancelled due to protests, and students oftentimes interrupted class to encourage others to join the political scene. I was not only impressed with the school being completely free, but also an environment full of radical ideas and debates that I personally don't see at Smith.
Cai Ytsma ’18
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
This film photo was taken in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, during a five-week, 9,000-mile road trip of a large portion of the United States. Along the way I stopped at many gas stations, but this one stood out to me as a quintessential example of daily life in America.
Giovanna Sabini-Leite ’21
The first thing you see when you arrive in Segovia is its magnificent and striking aqueduct. This aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in the second half of the 1st century A.D. and is one of the best-preserved Roman aqueducts. During my short two-week stay, I was amazed at how seamlessly the old and the new blended together to create a beautiful, picturesque paradise.
Ruth Tekleab Mekbib '19
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
I took this photo when I went to Ethiopia over the summer for a vacation in 2016. This church is one of the oldest churches found in Ethiopia and it is called Entoto Mariam church. It is found at a very high elevation and overlooks the city of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Inside, it has the first and ancient church built by Emperor Menelik II in 1877 G.C. It is also home to the first tomb of Empress Taitu, called "Shera Bet," built in 1918 G.C. Emperor Menelik and Empress Taitu's Memorial Museum and Palace is also found here and it is a very popular tourist destination in Ethiopia.
Madeleine Hoecklin ’20
This cityscape perspective of Yangon provides insight into the workings and lively activity of Myanmar's largest city, evidence of the history and the current transitional stage based on the mix of architectural styles of buildings, and indications of the rapid development taking place.
Lyn Watts ’17
Taken before I began my geology field camp. A little girl dressed up for a ceremony honoring the god Hanuman. Clearly uninterested in the dancing, she preoccupies herself instead with the large puddles left by an afternoon of monsoon rains.
Emily Bae ’17
Seoul, South Korea
This is a self-portrait of sorts. Over the summer in South Korea at Ewha Woman's University, I learned this gesture from my "Peace buddy," a student who helps you to encounter and assimilate into Korean culture. By placing your thumb and index finger together like this, you form a small heart. After I learned this sign, I was surprised at how ubiquitous it really is. Friends hold this symbol up to each other in greeting, k-pop stars flash it at their fans to show their affection, and it is placed on objects everywhere: stationery, clothing, you name it. In this photo, I had just learned this cultural signifier and was practicing it at the Han River, at dusk, before a picnic with friends.
Emily Bae ’17
Seoul, South Korea
South Korea is one of the most connected places in the world. It is known to have lightning fast data and Internet connections, widespread public Wi-Fi that actually functions well, etc. Seoul, in particular, is a mecca of technology, and because of this, we were constantly on our phones documenting our experiences. I took this metaphoto of two friends, one of them updating his snapchat story to share some of the beauty of Yeouido Park with his friends back home. I thought it was extremely fitting that only his phone screen was in focus; even though it is my picture of the park, you really only see the photo through his lens.
Jessica Ryan AC ’17J
I choose this photo to represent daily life because it exemplifies, for me, the way in which daily life intersects with art in Italy. Part of life in Rome are all of the stairs traversing the seven hills. The locals know all of the stairs' shortcuts to any part of town and will typically climb hundreds of stairs daily (I know I did). I came down this staircase (the third of three to get to where I needed to go) and had my breath taken away when I turned back and discovered the mural. This staircase was on the back side of Rome where tourists have little reason to go, and so to see this mural on the back side of the stairs reminded me that the art of Italy is for Italians first and foremost. Even the most mundane of trips to the local grocer is steeped in the tradition of Italian art.
Alexandra (Alex) Widstrand ’17
San Salvador, the Bahamas
Geosciences sponsored my research trip to survey coastal erosion on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. Although this research trip had the serious objective of surveying coastal erosion on the island, we also wanted to capture the fun side of research. We got our team together for a quick selfie using the drone—we like to call this a “dronie”—on one of the nicer days in the field.
Claire Horne ’17
On a rainy day I walked over the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and caught a glimpse of it through the rusted, cage-like fences that line the street-level walkway. Despite the severity of the metal grate, individuals have signed their names, left a tag, or left a lock marking their presence on this celebrated symbol of modernity in Australia.
Jenny Huang ’17
Taiwan is filled with motorcyclists; locals own at least one. It’s one of the most common forms of transportation, as motorcycles are compact and able to fit into the small, whirling streets of modernizing Taipei. As I waited for the stoplight to blink green, I snapped a quick photo of this couple zooming toward the Night Market.
Renu Linberg, AC ’18J
Locals and a few tourists swim in a hot springs swimming pool, Seljavallalaug, located in southern Iceland, nestled in a valley just off the beaten path. After a winding hike I came across a handful of people floating and chatting and enjoying the warm water on a cool, cloudy day.
Sydney Keen ’17
Havana Vieja, Cuba
In Havana, my favorite pastime was to wander the streets, chatting with locals and capturing scenes in photos. The moment shown here is one of my favorites, taken on my last day in that beautiful city. As I was gazing at the house from across the street, the man seated in front noticed and caught the little boy's attention so that they could smile for my camera. I have several photos in the series, but this is my favorite because it shows exactly the moment when the two in front transitioned from going about their day as usual to interacting with me from across the street. Meanwhile, up above, a man had just begun to engage in conversation with a woman who had been leisurely reading. The photo is full of transitional energy, curiosity, engagement and life.
Echo Zhang ’19
I took this photo while waiting for the train to pass. Trains are ubiquitous and the most convenient way of public transportation in Tokyo. This girl in school uniform, looking down at her phone while waiting for the light, represents the daily life of a lot of students, as they spend a great amount of time traveling in and out of the metropolis.
Sable Liggera ’17
Although striking, adapting to air pollution is part of daily life in Shanghai. Displayed here is the famous site of Pudong, submerged in smog.
Ke (Coco) Zhang ’16
On the morning of 7 January 2015, two terrorists attacked the office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed more than 10 cartoonists, staff and police. A week later, over 3.7 million people participated in the demonstration in Paris to show their anger and their support for the freedom of expression. I was lucky to be one of them, witnessing how the idea of liberty united people from France and all over the world. “Je suis, et nous sommes tous Charlie.” (I am, and we are all Charlie.)
Hannah Sachs ’16
While studying abroad in the Czech Republic I had the opportunity to spend a week on a small farm in a very rural area of Moravia with a host family who spoke only Czech. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, they welcomed me so fully into their life and taught me to embrace joy in simple daily rituals, such as caring for a flock of sheep.
Lucinda Klarich-Kahn ’16J
Bosnia surprises me daily. Transitioning out of a decade-long conflict, transferring socialist economies into the palms of capitalists war profiteers, transcending the East/West cultural divide—a single photo could hardly translate the beautiful chaos that exists in everyday life.
Juror's Choice, Best Overall
Haiqing Zhang ’18
Beach vibes: Cows chilling on the beach Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, enjoying sunshine and a moment of peace.
Emelie Chace-Donahue ’18
Turkish youth protest state Internet control and clash with police as they are forced out of Istanbul's Taksim Square. Taken in the heart of Istanbul, this photo sums up the passionate discontent for an unaccountable government that I experienced among Turks while I was in Istanbul.
Yuka Oiwa ’16
The intermission for the Noh performance that my Japanese literature class had attended was an outdoor tea ceremony. As audience members mingled and talked in the atrium they could look out into the courtyard's quiet garden and see the master tea maker, dressed in a fine kimono, deliberately going through the steps of the ceremony. In this shot, I wanted to capture her concentration in the set of her mouth and her perfectly folded hand.
Juror's Choice, Best Overall
Chloe Beckman ’17
Taken on the train into Tokyo on my daily commute, this photo reminds me of the feeling you get when the train is so packed that you don't need to hold onto anything but your bag. But more than that, it reminds me of that moment when you finally push out of the crowd and onto the platform, knowing all the while that at the end of the day, the ritual will repeat.
Juror's Choice, Best Overall
Anna Carroll ’16
This is a picture from the Danish royal family's private stables, which are open to the public on certain days of the week. As an equestrian with a passion for horses, I was amazed to learn that in the heart of Copenhagen's urban center, the royal horses are still housed within the centuries-old, marble-adorned stables of Christiansborg Palace. It took me longer than you might expect to realize that this grand stable was tucked right behind the bus stop where I hopped off on my way to class! While the rest of the castle burned to the ground (it has since been rebuilt and now houses parliament and the queen's receiving chambers), the Versailles-inspired stables remain standing today. Inside their chilly and impressive walls, I spotted this simple moment between an equally curious young Danish boy and a royal steed.
Arcadia Kratkiewicz ’16
This photo was taken on Christmas day in Nimes, France, a city known for its Roman ruins. I am looking across the most well-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world toward the contrasting view of the 17th-century steeple of the Catholic Church of Sainte Perpetue and a modern ferris wheel set-up for the holiday season.
Hannah Sachs ’16
Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most awe-inspiring aspects of my daily life in Prague was the beauty that surrounded me throughout my daily commute to school. I especially loved seeing how attentive and appreciative local individuals were of the incredible environment in which they live. In this photograph, a Czech woman stops to feed a flock of swans next to the Charles Bridge.
Bethany Dus ’15
This photo was taken inside what is today a Catholic church in Sicily. The church was built on top of a Greek temple, so when you are inside you can see the Christian iconography, like the stained glass and statues on the wall, coupled with the original columns from the temple surrounding the church.
Viviana Aluia ’15
Locals and summer tourists explore the scaling white marl deposits at La Scala dei Turchi (The Stairs of the Turks) in Agrigento, Sicily. In the midst of an August afternoon, the visitors alternate swimming off the coast and sunbathing on the distinctive calcium carbonate stratum. Children and a small dog wander over the wrinkled topography of this unusual formation.
Elizabeth Grant ’15
Two women share an intimate moment under an art installment on a rainy day in central Sydney. Names of endangered or extinct Australian birds were carved into the bricks in the street, and speakers along the buildings played their songs. These two women held hands and leaned on each other as they listened to the sad songs of forgotten creatures.
Elena Read ’15
Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan
I spent New Year’s in Tokushima Prefecture with a woman I met on a beach and her family. She gave me a ride back to the bus station, and on the way we stopped here for some fried octopus balls and local tangerines. The young couple standing in line in front of us had just come from walking down the beach.
Andrea Tanco ’15
Wadi Rum, Jordan
The beauty of Wadi Rum lies in what is absent. No sound on Earth is more powerful than absolute silence. This photo captures the magnitude and breathtaking nature of The Valley of the Moon. Wadi Rum is one of Jordan's most important tourist destinations and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Liz Young ’15
While studying at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, my Ice Cores and Ice Ages class went on a five-day study trip to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. This is a photo taken while dog sledding across a frozen fjord.
Alexandria Koch ’15
The photo was taken on the Turkish-occupied side of the buffer zone in Nicosia, Cyprus. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided between the Greek Cypriots in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north. As Nicosia is the last divided capital in the world, there is a large buffer zone going through the middle of the city center that ranges in distance. During this particular moment children were playing in between the once bloody and confrontational zone that separates the two sides. It is both shocking and humbling to witness childish ignorance to the political dispute that has plagued the beautiful island. They just want a place to be kids, and any open field is a place to play.
Heather Upin ’16
This photo was taken on a small road in the neighborhood of Psyrri. It was once a popular neighborhood but has since become rundown. This photo is of an old nightclub.
Andrea Tanco ’15
A father and his little daughter share a bonding moment while contemplating the magnificence of the Jaame' Abbasi Mosque in Isfahan, Iran.
Jacqueline Morse ’15
The sunrise on the east peak of Mount Hua (or Huashan) is a popular destination for adventurous hikers who want to spend their night on the top of the mountain. In the summer it's quite common for people to lash themselves to these poles and sleep on the edge of the cliff. The locks are left for good luck in family and fortune.
Angela Hwang ’15
This photo was taken during a trip to Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. It was quite rainy that day, but nonetheless, my group and I hiked up the side of a steep and slippery mountain to the very top where the moose were living. Despite the abysmal weather, it was amazing to have the chance to interact with the moose, feed them, and pose for some selfies.
Liz Young ’15
While studying at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, my Renewable Energy Systems class visited wind turbines just outside of Copenhagen. The class split into two groups and each group climbed to the top of a wind turbine. This is a photo of the other group, from one turbine to another.
Susan Williams AC ’16
Almost 900,000 handmade ceramic poppies to represent each British military death during WWI, which broke out more than 100 years ago. The last poppy will be “planted” on November 11.