MSFS Holds Second Annual Summer Photo Competition
By Sairah Zaidi (MSFS '12)
In an effort to celebrate and recognize the diverse summer experiences of MSFS students, MSFS conducted its second annual Summer Photo Competition and held a ceremony last Thursday, October14th to recognize the five finalists and unveil the first-prize winning photo that received the most votes from students. First-year Bruce Thomson’s winning photo of a young girl gathering firewood taken in Ollantaytambo, Peru received the most votes and will be displayed in the MSFS lounge throughout the school year. The other four finalists – Loren Hyatt, Carmiel Arbit, Emilie Yam, and Jen Usmanova – were also recognized and received enlarged versions of their photographs during the ceremony.
The theme of this summer’s competition was “Responsibility” and was chosen for its centrality in both the field of international affairs and Georgetown’s mission. Entrants were asked to consider such questions as whether moral dimensions are an important aspect of responsibility or whether it is more narrowly restricted to professional duties, and examine the theme from a local, global and universal perspective.
Thomson snapped his winning photo while waiting for his bus back to Cuzco from a day trip to Ollantaytambo, a town in Peru’s Sacred Valley. The photo still remains something of a mystery, he explained, because he did not know any personal details about the young girl.
First-year Bruce Thomson at Thursday’s award ceremony with his winning photo of a young girl in Peru gathering firewood. “The reason it caught my eye is because the bundle of wood was bigger than she was,” he explained.
“I presume she had been tasked to gather firewood for her family. The reason it caught my eye is because the bundle of wood was bigger than she was. I picked it for the responsibility theme because I thought it represented the shared responsibilities shared by all in the family - even at a young age, the girl was doing her part,” Thompson recalled.
Approximately 40 photos were submitted by students, from which a jury of three students, one MSFS staff member and one photographer selected five finalists on the basis of artistic merit and relevance to the theme of responsibility. The greater MSFS community was then able to submit their top choice after viewing the photos online and in the ICC Galleria - over 50 votes were cast.
Second –year David Trichler served on the selection committee this year and said that he became involved because of the success of last year’s competition, which centered on the theme of community, in highlighting the summer adventures and accomplishments of the student body.
“I thought this year’s entries were all excellent on artistic quality and the theme of responsibility. We would love to have a legacy from each year representing an internship or travel experience,” he said.
Thompson’s winning photo will join its predecessor in the 7th floor hallway following next year’s photo competition, a tradition that, as Trichler noted, will recognize and preserve the legacy and perspective of each class of MSFS students.
MSFS Director Anthony Arend and first-year Bruce Thomson unveiled his winning photo of a young girl in Peru gathering firewood.