Webster Multicutural Center and International Student Affairs hosted the 2013 Global Photo Contest last week where students were given the opportunity to submit photos representing global culture.
Christi Castonguay. Center for International Education Department Associate, said the contest promotes the international studies at Webster University and cultural awareness.
Castonguay said students’ perspectives on life, travel and culture are evident in the students photos. She said what people take as culture is different; photography can explain the photographer’s message.
“It is a common language, you don’t have to speak any particular language to see what a photo might communicate,” Castonguay said.
Last year’s winner senior David McDonald said photography is a way to describe culture, but taking a photo that can relay a cultural message is not easy.
“Trying to get a point across of symbolism or culture or just that deep meaning with a photograph is difficult to achieve. But if you can achieve it, it speaks volumes,” McDonald said.
McDonald’s winning picture was taken in Ayutthaya, Thailand. He said it had rained the night before which created a reflection of a giant gold Buddha statue surrounding a temple. As soon as McDonald crouched down to take the photo, a tourist sat down with a Slurpee from a 7-Eleven. After waiting, the tourist did not move. McDonald took the picture anyway, later realizing it was symbolic of Thai culture.
“So I realized its like a mixture. It was sort of like a clash between the west and east all in one picture,” McDonald said. “It’s an eastern culture deep in Buddhist ideas, but at the same time there’s a western influence like 7-Eleven.“
The 2013 Global photo contest took place last week, it was only open to students. Submissions were to be entered by Friday, Oct. 4.
The international studies committee will judge the photos and pick a winner by Oct. 15, Castonguay said.
The international studies committee has a representative from each school, providing a wide range of faculty members from different perspectives judging the photos.
The winning photo will be displayed Nov. 1 in the offices in Loretto Hall Small Wall Gallery for about a month.