Macalester students see a lot of the world when they study away. To celebrate their experiences and photographic talents, the college sponsors a Study Away Photo Contest. The contest draws dozens of entrants, which are displayed in Markim Hall, home to the Institute for Global Citizenship.

This year’s winners are:

  • Mongolian Eagle Hunter by Bekka Ord
  • Pavani by Wensday Berman
  • Glacial Recession by Anna Bebbington
  • Freedom by Kabir Sandrolini
Mongolian Eagle Hunter by Bekka Ord
Mongolia is a land of extremes, from the common -40°C in the winter to 40°C in the Gobi Desert in the summer and all life in Mongolia shows immense resilience in order to simply survive. Wanting to meet the Mongols who live on the brink of this extremity and given the opportunity, I made my way into Western Mongolia and into Altai Tavan Bogd National Park where Mongolians live lives that closely resemble their ancestors dating back thousands of years. Here is where I met the Eagle Hunter (as pictured). While between us we could only communicate hellos, as he held his eagle, I got a glimpse into a culture and set of traditions completely different than that of my own and was able to observe the tremendous respect that he showed for his golden eagle and Mongolian culture.
Pavani by Wensday Berman
To me, this picture of Pavani represents laughter as a form of agency and resistance to the religious, cultural, and governmental power structures that work to marginalize low-caste Hindu women. Pavani spoke of her village’s need for maternal and child health support, and despite the lack of health services, continues caring for herself and her children in the best ways she can. Pavani’s smile hides years of hard labour, marginalization, and social and governmental neglect, but it also presents her strength, wisdom, and humanness that endures and resists these structures.
Glacial Recession by Anna Bebbington
In the US it can be really difficult to grasp that climate change is happening right now, but at 15,000 ft in the Andes, climate change is undeniable. On the hike up to a glacial lagoon, recent glacial recession has created a beautiful, yet tragic landscape that has changed so dramatically in so short a time. Working with pastoral peasant communities during an internship in Ancash, Peru, the glacial melting is a daily reality, making their subsistence livelihoods ever more vulnerable. Yet these campesinos, just like Americans, struggle to relate their daily actions to their changing landscape. The disconnect between human action and climate change is not uniquely American, but rather a global and ever more pressing phenomenon, and something I reflected on and struggled with continuously throughout my internship.
Freedom by Kabir Sandrolini
Impossible to ignore, this facade greets all visitors to Robben Island as they disembark from the ferry. It powerfully and succinctly invokes the memory of Nelson Mandela and all the other political prisoners who spent time imprisoned on the island, serving simultaneously as a powerful testament to both the painful legacy of South Africa’s history and the resiliency of its people. Particularly at this troubled moment in South Africa, the US and globally, it is timely to remember the South African history of repression and resurrection. Practicing global citizenship requires us to find commonalities in our identities and history so as to affirm our shared humanity.

March 7 2018

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