Global Encounters Photo & Video Contests
The Lewis Global Studies Center Global Encounters Photo & Video contests provide a venue for Smith students to share their global experiences with the Smith community. All Smith students are encouraged to submit entries depicting a global encounter they experienced abroad or within the United States.
Photo Contest Guidelines
An event held in the fall semester will discuss photography composition, how to choose what to submit and how to abide by ethical photography practices.
Each student may submit up to two photos; each photo must be for a different category.
Submissions are due TBD, Fall 2023.
- 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.
- Life and Learning: Scenes documenting differences in your daily life/differences in how you learned these past two and a half years.
How to Submit
Digital photos of up to 10 inches in longest dimension, at 300 dpi or at least 1080x809 pixels can be submitted. Winning photos will be printed (roughly 8 x 10 inches) and displayed in the exhibit.
Save photos with a file name in this format: Country_Lastname_Firstname_class year.jpg (Kenya_Jones_Ann_25.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) (one category per photo)
- 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 takes 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.
Reception: Thursday, October 27 at 4:15pm in the SCMA Atrium
Video Contest Guidelines
Have you had an international experience during your time at Smith that you want to share in a digital format? Use this opportunity to reflect and share your story. Choose what you want to focus on (e.g. personal growth, local culture, relationships with friends/host family, academics) and then turn it into a video narrative using music, voice-over, photographs and/or video footage. Show us how you interacted with a new environment or a lesson you learned through your global experience. Be creative!
- Video should be between 1 and 3 minutes long.
- Who can enter? Smithies who have studied or interned abroad during their time at Smith for: a year, semester, summer or interterm, and international Smithies reflecting on their time in the United States.
The videos that we feel express most thoughtfully the relationship between the student and their global experience will be chosen to receive awards (a small cash prize & a place for your work on the Lewis Global Studies website).
Your work will also be publicly acknowledged and displayed in the Lewis Global Studies Center during graduation events.
All submissions must be digital. Please upload your submission through Google drive and share with firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, please include the following in your message:
- Your preferred name and class year
- The title of your video
- Where your global experience took place
- A sentence or two about yourself
- 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 video for promotional purposes in print and web materials.”
Submission deadline: 11:59pm, Sunday, March 20, 2022.
Important Copyright Information
Please be sure to use open source music and photographs any time the work is not your own and to credit the original producer. Photographs or video footage of identifiable individuals should have verbal or written consent.
If you have any further questions or would like sample work please contact the Lewis Global Studies Center Social Media Intern Anne Husmann.
2022–23 Global Encounters Photo Contest Winners
Emily Drennan ’23
Category: Cultural Oppositions
Location of Images: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Christmas Day in Edinburgh is more buzzing than you might expect. Along Princes Street is a string of brightly lit, vividly colored fair rides and merchandise booths. The fair forms a surreal, bedazzled crown surrounding the Scott Monument, a moody spire tower dedicated to the 18th century writer Walter Scott. The stark contrast between cheap thrills and this weathered landmark is a reflection of the ever present tension in Edinburgh (and the world) between old and new.
Cameron Findlay ’23
Category: Learning Moments
Location of Images: Cruden Bay Scotland
During my last visit to Scotland to see family before the pandemic cut travel short, I visited a castle on a hilltop by the sea. Tragically, years before, a boy had fallen from the crags— pictured here is his makeshift memorial. The use of Americanized images like Mickey Mouse and Sesame Street, incongruously paired with the Scottish landscape, connected me to this boy in a way I couldn’t have expected. Across time and culture, I still think of him.
Cameron Findlay ’23
Category: Up Close
Location of Images: Islay, Scotland
Standing with my family on the boardwalk, seagulls cried out from all directions. On a whim, I took out my camera and took a snapshot of the setting sun, hoping to capture the beauty of the light on the sea. To my delight, however, I was photobombed by one of our vocal companions—resulting in a picture that I couldn’t have planned for if I tried.
Camila Maldonado Franco ’24
Category: Daily Life
Location of Images: Islands Brygge, Copenhagen, Denmark
"The Danish Bodega"
More than a place where people primarily gather to drink beer, these places have served throughout time as hygge-friendly home to a diverse group of people. While I was reading my book and having a coffee, this man was sitting both reading a newspaper and checking up on his emails. Bodegas in Denmark allow anyone to find that sense of peace at any time of the day, whether that's alone or with some friends. A well-kept secret that only the simplicity and uniqueness of these spots can provide.
Naomi Giancola ’23
Category: Cultural Oppositions
Location of Images: Pristina, Kosovo
While studying humanitarian law and armed conflict in Denmark I learned one main thing: to learn the history of Kosovo is to learn of the American involvement. Nothing makes the impact of America more apparent than the massive statue of Bill Clinton in the center of the capital on the street named after the former American president himself: “Bulevardi Bill Clinton." Everywhere in Kosovo, the friendship between these two nations was made clear. My classmates and I were welcomed with open arms (and free food) while American flags littered every skyline.
Isobel Hamilton ’26
Category: Up Close
Location of Images: Ethiopia
Man branding a camel at a camel market south of Harar, Ethiopia. Number 7 is painted on the highest quality camels, indicating that they are for export.
Peris Mwangi ’23
Category: Learning Moments
Location of Images: Cartagena, Colombia
This photo was a moment of my immersion in Afro-Colombian culture in Cartagena. Originally from Palenque, a village of the descendants of runaway African slaves brought over during Spanish colonial rule, these women come to Cartagena to sell tropical fruit on the streets and occasionally take a photo moment with visitors. Despite their freedom, hard economic times forced the women to trek to Cartagena to sell their fruits for a living. To me, the Palenquera women in their brightly-hued ruffled dresses are an outward, visual embodiment of a much deeper Palenque history of freedom and resilience. As a black traveler, this was an affirmation of the resilience and joy of my people, despite our global and individual struggles against systems of domination.
Margaret Parks ’24
Category: From Afar
Location of Images: Heimaey Island, Iceland
This is an image overlooking the town at the base of this ruby red and galaxy black colored volcano. After hiking the volcano where one could see breathtaking views of the town below and the ocean surrounding the island, learning about the volcano when it was active was equally breathtaking. The last time this volcano was active was in the 70’s and affected the entire island’s community. This landscape shows how humans have inhabited earth, how natural occurrences can take back control, and how rebuilding is a community effort. The dynamic between civilization and nature is evident in this piece.