As mentioned in the last issue of The Yellow Jacket, the new Study Abroad Photo Exhibition in the McGraw-Page Library has been receiving quite a lot of attention.
Claiming first place in the 11th Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest with her unique photograph taken on the Northern tip of Cuba was Margaret (Lizzie) Kidwell, who studied abroad in Cuba for two weeks. Kidwell explained that this standout picture was taken in admiration of the old-fashioned car, and a noticeable, yet interesting, juxtaposition of culture depicted by a little boy’s attire, which was not native of the area in which he was from. She found that the child wearing a “Ben Ten” shirt in her photo showed a strong Canadian influence, which in a way defeated the cultural gap between Canada and Cuba. The old-style vehicle in the picture spoke volumes to her because it really captivated her attention. Kidwell discussed the impoverished divide between Northern and Southern Cuba, which led her to explain that the clean streets under the car in the picture accurately showed the transition from neglected provinces to highly regarded, well-kept neighborhoods.
Coming in second place in the Study Abroad Photo Contest was Halie Carey. Carey’s experience abroad was a rather different one. For 3 ½ to 4 months, Carey was at sea for both studying and traveling purposes. Along her journey, she visited many remarkable places, including Costa Rica, England, Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, and Senegal (which happened to be her favorite), just to name a few. While sailing around the world, Carey enrolled in four classes. Her class choices were Social Psychology, Philosophy of Religion, Photography, and Music, and each of the courses contributed to her newfound appreciation of the places she visited. In the midst of her travels, she attended a celebratory festival in Spain, where she was able to capture her award-winning photograph. When asked about her motivation behind taking the picture, she said it was “because it all felt like a dream in that very moment.” The picture was of a Spanish native rhythmically dancing in his natural habitat, captured with candid night-lighting at just the right angle.
For Lizzie Kidwell, her main takeaway from her trip was the difference in values that she noticed between American and Cuban culture.
“After the trip, I realized how materialistic our society can be sometimes. It really stuck out to me when street merchants were subsidizing bars of soap. And as far as their interactions go, Cuban culture really struck me as patient and important to communicators of the area,” Kidwell shared.
Halie Carey’s takeaway was made clear when she said, “It all flew by so fast, in fact, it felt like it didn’t even happen. The world outside of the one I thought I know really clarified how different things really can be. My experience abroad forever changed my cultural perspective, and I would not have changed a thing about it.”
Congratulations to the 2016 Study Abroad Photo Contest winners! These ladies made a strong statement with their photographs, and they encourage all R-MC students to consider studying abroad!
-Ian Ragland ’17, Junior News Editor