The people have spoken! This year, we changed some of the rules for our annual photo contest. We set the stakes high by offering the winner a $500 travel voucher, and the runner-up a $300 voucher. From March 1st until May 15 of this year we received over 900 submissions, including nearly a hundred historical photographs from the first 50 years of the Experiment and SIT. After reviewing all the photos, we chose just 15 finalists. Then, we let you choose the winners through our online voting form.
Jennifer Gemmell, SIT Study Abroad Madagascar, won the grand prize with her photo “Yellow in Ifotaka.” Jennifer writes,
“Relaxing in the shade during the hottest part of the day, I was lucky to glimpse this woman and child framed by the window of a house. The kids in Ifotaka, Madagascar love having their pictures taken, but it took some encouragement to convince this woman not to be afraid of my camera. The woman’s face is covered with a traditional skin rejuvenating mask.
This was taken at a village that was hosting our SIT group for a Lemur Ecology project in the sacred forest protected by the people of Ifotaka. This was the chief’s wife, though I’m not sure if the girl is a neighbor or her daughter. These face masks are traditionally worn after childbirth, so we initially assumed she was a new mother, though we later learned that these masks are also worn at other times throughout the year.”
International Honors Program alum Justin Fahey won the runner-up prize with his photo from Tanzania (below). Justin tells us,
“This photograph was taken in northern Tanzania while I was studying abroad during my junior year of college. For two weeks, each student from our group lived with a Maasai family in the plains just south of Arusha. Our group was present during a day-long wedding ceremony that brought together Maasai families from all over the region. Upon arriving at the ceremony and discovering another student’s digital camera, my host brother became the de facto photographer.”
Congratulations to Jennifer, Justin and all the finalists. If you missed the big prize this year, click here to keep an eye out for details about the 2012 photo contest!