Culture?" Photo Contest
contest promotes cross-cultural awareness and international study and/or
Place: Brad Tilka
by the streets”
During my junior year of high school
(November 2010), I volunteered with a group of photographers for International
Justice Mission (IJM) to create an exhibit to raise awareness for child
trafficking in Cebu City, Philippines. We walked through the streets of the
Carbon Market—one of the city’s oldest and more impoverished areas—photographing
the children who lived there. The area is home to many “street-kids” without
homes or families.
While walking, I noticed this young
girl feeding a child. She looked rather young to be caring for another
child—even to care for herself. Squatting nearby was an older woman (possibly a
close relative) smoking a cigarette. She would look over her shoulder at the
two kids infrequently, expressing overall disinterest.
Place: Olivia Paige
summer I traveled to The Dominican Republic where I lived in a small village
surrounded by sugarcane fields. The little girl featured in this photo is
named Mika. Mika lived close by and would often greet me by
affectionately grasping my hand with her sticky mango-covered fingers.
Mika, like most of the families in her village, faced crippling poverty and
malnutrition. When rice was scarce, Mika’s mother would send her older
brother to bring home mangos that grew a short walk from the village. It
was not uncommon for little Mika to be seen snacking on a mango with the juice
dripping down her smiling face. Mika would always share her mango with
her neighbor, another little girl who went hungry more often than Mika.
To me, the mango in this photo is symbolic of the hope that continues to grow
in her village.
Place: Reed Pagett
This photograph is titled Reality because I have often experienced a phenomenon
when traveling to and from Haiti. This phenomenon is a feeling that when I am
there I am in reality, and when I return to the states, I am somehow in this
unreal world. I feel this happens because we are blessed with privileges as
citizens of the U.S. that others in the world could not even dream of. This
photo is of a boy named Gabbie; he is a dear friend of mine, and he is holding
a newly born puppy. Although it may seem to be a planned photograph, it really
was just by chance that I caught such a stoic and meaningful shot. I feel that
it shows all the difficulties my friend has had to endure just by growing up in
the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, but I feel like it also shows the
strength and courage that Gabbie has for life. This photo is a symbol of what
the true reality is for the majority of the people in the world.