Students Garner Awards for International Photos

From Chile to Japan, Harvard students traveled the globe last year for thesis research, internships, recreation and income. Last night, some shared their experiences and exhibited their artistry in more familiar surroundings.

The Office of International Programs held its third annual International Photo Contest, awarding prizes to undergraduates for photos taken abroad.

“You say ‘I went to Venezuela, I went to Tibet,’ and it can be difficult to share that with people,” said Giorgio D. DiMauro, assistant director of the Office of International Programs, who has headed the contest for three years. “Our goals were to celebrate all the places students have been...and give them the opportunity to share.”

The event kicked off Harvard’s annual International Education Week. Deborah M. Kao, curator of photography at the Fogg Museum, judged the contest, looking over submissions in four categories: Landscape, Culture, People and Architecture.

“Many of the photographs and certainly the best of these works can compete anywhere,” said Kao.

She also commented on top submissions, offering students a professional critique of their works.

“I was really pleased in hearing her describe my photo,” said Serena B. Keith ’08. “The elements I liked and the ones she pointed out aligned.” Her photo “Waiting for School,” a depiction of a meditative boy in Thailand, earned first prize in the People category.

Megan E. Camm ’07 won best in show from 220 submissions, gaining a $75 gift certificate from Eastern Mountain Sports. Her piece “Remembering Our History,” shot in Joza, Grahamstown, South Africa, portrayed a local fruit stand, with undertones provided by a photo in the background showing a victim of apartheid.

“A picture can help you sort through some of the emotions you can’t really express,” Camm said. “You have to share them with other people.”

Beyond sharing experiences, the exhibition was intended to give prospective international travelers a sense of what to expect.

“A photo is in its own right is as visceral and intellectual an engagement as any thesis might be,” Kao said.

—Staff writer Lindsay A. Maizel can be reached at lmaizel@fas.harvard.edu.