Sunday, December 17, 2017

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Eilean Donan Castle (Photo: Matthew Tornero) Eilean Donan Castle (Photo: Matthew Tornero)
 


International Photo Contest Winners Announced

Six honorees were chosen from 86 photos submitted by SDSU students studying abroad.
By Michael Klitzing
 

A young woman in a richly decorated kimono holds a pinwheel in front of a wall of wishes written on wind chimes in Kawagoe, Japan. A giant raccoon sculpture made of discarded car parts looms over a street scene in Lisbon, Portugal.

These are some of the images in San Diego State University’s 2017 International Photo Contest, hosted by the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, Office of New Student and Parent Programs and Be International. This year’s contest challenged students to submit photographs that defied their imaginations, and SDSU students delivered.

Winning photos, submitted by student participants of study abroad programs or current international students, were announced on Oct. 11. A panel of faculty and staff judges selected first-, second- and third-place winners, as well as three honorable mentions from a field of 86 photo submissions. The SDSU community cast thousands of votes during a weeklong head-to-head tournament on the SDSU Be International blog to select the People’s Choice Award winner.

The theme of this year’s contest was “Defying Imagination: Images that depict something that you did not expect, or that helped you imagine life in another context during your international experience.”

“There were so many interpretations of this year's photo contest theme, and the quality of photos gets better each year,” said Chris Kjonaas, associate director of international engagement for the SDSU Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement. “Not only does SDSU's International Photo Contest allow new students and parents to imagine the variety of SDSU international experiences, but it also provides a really important space for study abroad alumni to reflect upon their experiences abroad.”

The top 40 submissions were part of a gallery showing during Family Weekend. The gallery will be on public display again from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at International Peace Village on Nov. 16 at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

The 2017 International Photo Contest winners are:

First Place and People's Choice: "Pinwheel Dreams" by Colin Banks

Pinwheel Dreams
Pinwheel Dreams

Major and Program: Mechanical engineering major; SDSU Exchange at Rikkyo University in Japan
Location: Kawagoe, Japan
Narrative: People gather at the Kawagoe Shrine every summer to celebrate and write their dreams and wishes on wind chimes. This picture shows a woman wearing her traditional yukata, standing in the middle of her dreams, and the dreams of others, perhaps wondering how many will come true.

Second Place: "Spaceship" by Steven Garcia

Spaceship
Spaceship

Major and Program:
Marketing major; SDSU Exchange at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom
Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Narrative:
Shocked with the amazing architecture and the reigning silence in the Central Library of Liverpool, surrounded by books and letters, I imagined myself in a spaceship traveling out to explore new worlds. The image represents the beginning of my experience abroad.

Third Place: "The Alleys" by Katelyn Throckmorton

The Alleys
The Alleys

Major and Program:
Biology major; ISEP at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland
Location:
Stockholm, Sweden
Narrative:
As I wandered through Stockholm, I found myself jumping through time. Every building around me was built before America was even founded. On these walks through Old Town, I imagined life in 17th century Sweden; wooden carts being hauled down the bumpy cobblestone, carrying breads and cheeses, clothes drying out on wires across the buildings, a simpler life. When I look back at this photo of the alleys, I time-travel all over again.

Honorable Mention: "Street Art By Bordalo II" by Rand Al-Urfali

Street Art By Bordalo II
Street Art By Bordalo II

Major and Program:
Social work major; IVHQ
Location:
Lisbon, Portugal
Narrative:
This photo showcases extraordinary street art by Bordalo II, who was born in Lisbon in 1987. I was astonished by this giant raccoon installation made from tires, damaged car parts, appliances and other trashed objects. This artwork helped me understand that there is no limit to creativity. It also opened my eyes to the amount of waste production which could lead to serious ecological problems if we stop recycling.

Honorable Mention: "Gateway" by Matthew Tornero

Gateway
Gateway

Major:
Theatre arts major; API in Edinburgh, Scotland
Location:
Dornie, Scotland
Narrative:
Observing the Eilean Donan Castle of the Scottish Highlands in such a docile state made my imagination run wild, back to a time when this castle was the western gate to the country. I thought of the families who occupied the castle and defended the region for over 700 years. This imposing monument was a gateway into the past, and was a standout among many highlights from my time abroad.

Honorable Mention: "Fascinating Fireworks" by Colin Banks

Fascinating Fireworks
Fascinating Fireworks

Major:
Mechanical engineering major; SDSU Exchange at Rikkyo University in Japan
Location:
Tokyo, Japan
Narrative:
This photo was taken my last night in the suburbs of Tokyo. I wanted to take photos of the reflections of passing trains in the river; however nothing came of it. While walking home, I noticed kids playing with fireworks under a unique bridge and was able to capture the moment. I believe this shows that even if you cannot find what you are looking for, if you keep your head up you can find something even better.