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CSSH Global Photography Contest 2014


Last year’s contest was such a success, we decided to continue with our 2nd Annual Global Photo Contest to keep our office decorated with your incredible international experiences! We received photographs from students who have traveled all over the world through Northeastern’s study abroad, Dialogue of Civilizations, and international co-op programs. Below are the winners, as voted on by students, faculty, and staff during Welcome Week this fall. Come by our office in 180 Renaissance Park to see the rest of the submissions!

1st Place Winner: Keilani Lai-Hipp

International Affairs/Economics ‘18

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Leilani Lai-Happ photo

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

I took this photo on the Microfinance Dialogue in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We were walking from a school visit to our bus when I saw these two boys playing in the middle of the street. They kept looking at us and looking away, curious as to what this group of Americans was doing in their neighborhood. I looked at them, pointed at my camera, and asked if I could take a picture of them. They giggled and started running away.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

I chose to submit this photo because I feel like it captured the innocence and curiosity that resonated within many of the children I encountered on my Dialogue. Children have this awesome, universal power to give you hope.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

My experience to the Dominican Republic and Cuba definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. My time abroad helped me appreciate two cultures so vastly different from that of my own, as well as see firsthand the impact social enterprise can have.

2nd Place Winner: Rachel Rimm

Environmental Studies/International Affairs, ‘15

Bali, Indonesia

Rachel Rimm photo

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

I took this during my co-op in Bali, Indonesia. One warm afternoon, I headed to a local warung (cafe) to grab lunch before heading to the class I was teaching later on that day. As it had just transitioned into the rainy season, I parked my motorbike under an awning, just in case. Unsurprisingly, it started to rain. But this time was different than usual. Over the course of about 30 minutes the streets had turned into rivers and people who were driving by had ditched their shoes and were fervently trying to stay dry under their flimsy plastic rain covers. I couldn’t help but notice how many people were laughing or smiling in the midst of chaos. I concluded that there is something inherently funny about being completely out of control of a situation.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

This photo represented a pretty transformational moment in my co-op experience, college experience and, in truth, life as a whole. And the few seconds of eye contact I shared with that boy are burned into my mind forever. I’m so grateful I was able to capture it on camera.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

Perhaps more than anything else, this experience taught me how to lean into life’s twists and turns instead of resisting them. At the same time, it taught me to balance the dichotomy of being along for the ride and rolling with the punches while also sometimes taking the reins and making things happen.

3rd Place Winner: Gemma Bonfiglioli

Human Services/International Affairs ‘17

 Kenya

Gemma Bonfiglioli photo resized for web

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

I was in Kenya when this photo was taken. My dialogue group had just left and I had stayed a little longer. During my dialogue I was researching the waste management in different areas in Kenya. This is part of what sparked my interest to check out the dumpsite, which I had heard a lot about, located in Dandorra, a very desolate, dusty, rough region of Kenya, not too far away from the capitol, Nairobi. This photo represents the problems of waste management in many developing countries but also developed countries. In the photo submitted you can see a child standing barefoot in the waste, filled with toxic chemicals and hazardous materials. This dumpsite is completely controlled by armed gang members, the government has no control. To enter the dumpsite I had to pay one of the gang members who then showed us around.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

I chose this photo because I want to show the public and highlight the truly devastating situation of our waste and where it ends up. Usually people do not think where their trash will end up, but we need to start coming up with a better system because our planet is beginning to rot.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

I was exposed to new cultures, new lifestyles, and I improved my interview and communication skills.

Honorable Mention: Josh Sternberg

International Affairs ‘15

Shanghai, China

Josh Sternberg photo

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

I was standing on a rice paddy in the Longji Rice Terraces, in northeastern Guangxi, China. The photo is of the terraced rice fields, carved into the mountainous region between 700-1000 years ago, which allow farmers to plant and harvest rice despite their geographic location and the absence of traditional farmland.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

These terraces were absolutely a highlight of my four months in China, a far cry from my base city of Shanghai, and an isolated region – the farmers living in the terraces had never been down the mountain, much like to the nearby city of Guilin or the far away metropolis of Shanghai.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

My exposure to the vastly different political, social, and economic conditions and frameworks in China has expanded on my understanding of Chinese thinking and realities. As a result, both my intellectual capacity for understanding Chinese domestic and international politics, and my personal growth in diversity of cultures, have benefited tremendously.

 

Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Ham

History ‘18

Yamanaka, Japan

Elizabeth Ham photo

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

I took this photo on Lake Yamanaka in Yamanaka, Japan. The photo is of a swan standing on the shore in front of traditional swan boats.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

I chose to submit this photo because I really liked the composition. I think it is interesting to see the swan form repeated in the background of the photograph as this makes for a subtle pattern. The photo is also mostly composed of blues, black and white yet the pale pink and yellow of the swan boats makes the image pop.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

During my experience in Japan my eyes were opened to the differences between cultures and the way different people can benefit from each other. Spending a lot of time with Japanese students allowed me to fully immerse myself in the local culture, and I found how adapting to other ways can not only be more simple than I expected but also rewarding.

 

Honorable Mention: Christine Beluk

Human Services/Sociology ‘16

Edinburgh, Scotland

Christine Beluk photo small

Where were you when they took the photo and tell us what the photo is of?

My friends and I found this free tour of the Scottish highlands and couldn’t wait to try it. The tour was an all-day event, and we spent the morning driving through the beautiful countryside in a bright orange car that looked just like the hairy coos – it even had stick-on bangs on the windshield! The whole way up our bus driver played top 40 bag pipe covers, by the infamous, Red Hot Chili Pipers. (I know, you don’t believe me, and you think I making it up. But I promise they’re a real thing, Facebook page and everything.) After visiting castles and lochs, the last stop on our trip was to try to find some hairy coos. One of the most significant cultural icons in Scotland, my friends and I were beyond excited for a chance to meet some of these fun loving animals. The photo I submitted is a picture of a cow named Fiona. We were able to feed them (who would have thought they liked white bread!) and take some photos. The cows have such a personality, maybe it’s the bangs, and I think it reflects on the kindness and warm heartedness of the Scottish people. I remember when we got back on our bright orange bus, looking at the photos and laughing the whole way back home.

Why did you select this photo to submit?

This small day trip was one of my favorite memories of my time abroad while in Scotland. It reminds me of the wonderful friends I’ve made as well as jaw dropping scenery of the country.

How have you grown both personally and intellectually from this global experience?

It’s hard to quantify how you grown when you study abroad. I’ve tried dinners worth of new foods (including some that resemble a sheep stomach), worn my shoes to mere pieces of fabric from exploring miles of cobblestone street, laughed with new friends till the “wee” early hours of the morning, wandered through markets where I didn’t understand the currency (let alone the language!), and took classes that pushed my perspective while questioning my beliefs. Studying abroad undoubtedly helps you gain new insight on different cultures. I think that’s why people go, to learn about a place that is different than what they know. I also believe that my intellectual opinions have grown as I was pushed in rigorous classes asked consistently to go outside my comfort zone thinking in ways I hadn’t before. I’ve grown confidence from meeting all new people while facing the daunting task of making new friends. Studying abroad in Scotland has sparked a consistent curiosity in me to explore new things, and I can’t wait for my next adventure.