|Sunday, May 19, 2013|
Last Updated: Friday, December 07, 2012 10:29:01 AM ET
QUIC would like to congratulate all the 2012
International Photo Contest Winners!
East meets West by Janet Xi
Category: People and Culture
In this photo, I tried to capture what visitors describe as the "Wild West" of China. Sporting attire that closely resembles cowboy hats and leather boots, these men look like they may have walked off the set of "The Great Train Robbery".
This photo is a reminder that pressures are simply a result of social constructions - that there is no right way of existing. Across the world in Litang, China, the guidelines for life are different. Instead of seeing feeling the pressures of time and ambition, as is often felt here, existence is about spiritual attainment where people walk around with prayer beads instead of coffees.
1st - Boy and Birds, Istanbul, Turkey by Meagan Berlin
Learning about Islam and Muslim culture has been a big aspect of my year on exchange in Istanbul. Finding out that the pigeon is considered a sacred bird in the Islamic faith was interesting and made me look at the crowds of them that plague the city in a different light. The boy in the photo was standing there very calmly and waiting for his father to be done washing his feet in preparation to enter the mosque for prayer. Istanbul's clash of modernity with respect and inclusion of religion is what makes it an extremely special and distinct place.
Looking at this photo once I am home will remind me of the things about Istanbul that I adore; the people are some of the nicest in the world, parallel to none. Istanbul is unblemished by heavy tourism, and still retains an old-world charm. I will miss having tea in the street at all hours, hearing the haunting call to prayer during the day and night, and lastly, the Turkish people. I might even miss the pigeons.
2nd - Timeless Laundry, Tokyo, Japan by Tracy Wu
I was wandering in an old neighbourhood in Tokyo and I had a special acquaintance with this old lady in a coin laundry place. The color of the machines and the character of the lady formed a beautiful contrast.
I started a conversation with this Japanese old lady, fearing that she might feel uncomfortable talking to a foreign stranger, she quickly reassured me with her lively voice. "I am already 91 years old!" She told me proudly. We talked about the streets, laundry, and cats. When I invited her for a photograph, she asked me to give her a moment. She told out a little comb from her pocket, carefully fixed her hair, "I want to look good in your photo!" And she sat up straight, looking into my lens as if she was in a professional studio-- I had a very strong urge to capture the moment.
3rd - Linked to the Heavens. Madinah, Saudi Arabia by Ashraf Al-Fagih
I took this picture in 2004 at the plaza of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Madinah is the second holiest city in Islam (after Mecca). This grand mosque contains also the burial place of Prophet Muhammad. At that particular moment, muslims of all nationalities and backgrounds were exiting the mosque to start their days after conducting the dawn prayers. The spiritual atmosphere was indescribable and peace filled the air. As people walked around me, I viewed the high minarets as if they were bridges of light connecting earth to the heavens! It reminds me of what my home town, Madinah, stands for: faith, tranquility and diversity.
1st - Amritsar, India by Jonathan Crangle
I took a trip to the India-Pakistan border where there is a daily ceremony closing the border at sunset. The Indian and Pakistani soldiers have an elaborate routine where they try to intimidate each other. Both Indians and Pakistanis come to the border to watch the ceremony and cheer for their respective nations.
India is diverse often contradictory. This image captures the polarizing nature of India for me. Gandhi, the symbol of peace and father-figure of modern India is foiled by armed soldiers. This picture symbolizes India's struggle for identity and how their history has impacted the country as it is today.
2nd - Unite For Sight by Sharifah Issaka
This past summer I volunteered in Ghana as a Unite For Sight "Global Impact Fellow". Unite For Sight is a non-profit global health delivery organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness by removing patient barriers to treatment and providing high quality, cost-effective eye care to patients living in extreme poverty. This photo was taken while on outreach in the town of Suhum in Ghana’s Eastern Region. In the background, a colorful crowd of community members can be seen patiently waiting to see the ophthalmologist—literally united for sight.
Unite For Sight is a world leader in effective, socially responsible volunteering and (as a Ghanaian-Canadian and a student of Health and Global Development studies) I was impressed by the fact that the program partners volunteers from abroad with local Ghanaian health professionals—a model that encourages sustainability, cultural sensitivity, and knowledge-sharing, while recognizing the agency and dedication of the Ghanaian healthcare providers. Although Unite For Sight operates programs in Ghana, Honduras, and India, I chose to volunteer at an eye clinic in Ghana—the country of my birth. During my placement, I was able to document (through film and photography) the daily efforts of international volunteers and local ophthalmologists, optometrists, and ophthalmic nurses to eliminate patient barriers to care and facilitate comprehensive, year-round eye care for those who need it the most, yet lack access to treatment or the means to afford it.
3rd - Abandoned , Donmouth Local Nature Rese by Sarah Foohey
I captured this moment during a solitary walk along the shores of the North Sea while on exchange at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. I was startled by the juxtaposition of human interference in the midst of such natural beauty. The beach was completely deserted, the sun was setting, and the silence was broken only by the sound of crashing waves. It was an eerie moment, where this single piece of pollution seemed to encapsulate the consequences of human carelessness. I took this photograph to remember this moment and the emotional impact it had on me.
I have always been passionate about environmental issues, and I decided to visit this nature reserve after it was mentioned in my Conservation Biology class. I was surprised and distressed to see pollution in a protected area, and then I realized that it was illogical to assume that a small piece of land would remain pristine when it was surrounded by polluted air and polluted water. To me, this photograph represents the damage we are continually inflicting on our environment, and the holistic approach that would be required to prevent and recover from it. Completely alone, in a new place lit only by the setting sun, in this moment I sensed an ominous warning of the vulnerability of the human lifestyle and of the scars we continue to leave on this planet.
1st - Warmth, Light, Flowers, A Spring Morning In My Home, Lyon, France is Home by Katriina O'Kane
The morning light in my apartment was soft. I could almost feel the warmth and peace of spring as I entered my kitchen, so I grabbed my camera. I loved my apartment in France - it was a perfect backdrop to my wonderful experience on exchange.
This photograph reminds me of how home is both different and similar, no matter where in the world you are. In France, my apartment was in a building a few hundred years old; the Boulangerie across the street sold fresh baguettes for prices that couldn’t even compare with Pan Chancho (90 cents for a baguette!); my beautiful little balcony, that I could half sit on and gaze out across the river as I ate my dinner. All this was unique and beautiful to my home here in France. But in the end, maybe it wasn’t all that different. I still had my tea mug (which I brought all the way from Canada with me); enjoyed cooking crêpes on Sunday mornings, having friends over for dinner in the evenings, and having long talks with my housemates; and had to deal with my typical rush to not be late to class every day!
2nd - Hiking A Mountain In 40 Degree Heat Is Worth It When The View Looks Like This, Taipei, Taiwan by Shawn Keddy
This photo was taken after hiking Elephant Mountain in Taipei, where I was teaching ESL, in 2010. Hiking a mountain in 40 degree heat is worth it when the view looks like this. Sitting on one of a cluster of boulders at the summit, I looked out to see the world’s most densely populated city’s urban core, the skyline dominated by the famous Taipei 101. Manic, polluted, bombastic, home.
Moving to Taiwan changed my life. I moved there to teach ESL and to save enough money to attend teacher's college. In Taiwan, I was a permanent tourist. I hiked everything there was to hike, I shopped every market there was was to shop, and I ate everything I could possibly try. Hiking Elephant Mountain was my favorite moment of a year that meant so much. The view captured everything I loved about the city and the peaceful summit allowed me time to reflect on my goals ad accomplishments.
3rd - A Southern Home by Alexander Affleck
During the 2008 students on ice expedition in Antarctica our ship stopped at small station called Port Lockroy for a day. I saw how all the penguins had nested in front of a storage shed and thought it looked neat, so I took a picture of it. Once I was inside the station people explained how the penguins had nested right in front of the shed making it their home.
Penguins who occupy large quantities of the coast of Antarctica decided to make their home right in front of the bright door of this shed. I found it amazing how these creatures decided to move in and nest right beside rare human dwellers in Antarctica. They are at peace living beside the few people at Port Lockroy who are careful not to disrupt their life cycles and now must refrain from approaching the shed. It amazes me how the penguins are comfortable along side the base making it their home by nesting.
1st - Coexistence - Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania by Chris Ng
Tanzania is a world so unlike Canada. In Matambwe, a village and entry point into Selous Game Reserve, baboons, wild pigs and elephants are common pests. When elephants roam the village, it isn’t safe to walk outside. When elephants cross railroad tracks, trains have to stop and wait for them because elephants can stop a train. At night we fell asleep to hyenas calling and lions roaring, and in the morning swapped tales of warthogs outside our tents. I took this image to remember this coexistence, even if just for a short time, with such wild, majestic animals.
In many parts of the world organisms are rapidly losing their habitat, their homes. One of the best ways to preserve their habitat is through the creation of national parks and conservation areas. To generate both income and interest in these conservation efforts, many parks are open to visitors, including Selous Game Reserve. Selous is staffed by dedicated Tanzanians working hard to protect both the people who come to visit its wildlife and the wildlife itself. They realize that people must care about the local wildlife and preserve it or the world will be a sorrier place. These are the train tracks leading out of Matambwe, one of the villages for the workers and their families. The train is the main form of transportation for the locals. For me, this image is a reminder that wildlife and humans must coexist and cannot survive in isolation from one another.
2nd - A Helpful Friend Tanzania, Africa by Chad Bossert
Last winter break, while on a safari in Tanzania, I got the opportunity to experience wildlife like I’d only ever seen on TV. When I noticed this little bird perched on the mouth of such a large giraffe I had to capture the moment. As a Biology major, I couldn’t believe I was seeing this beautiful symbiotic relationship in person.
To me this photo captures the symbiotic relationship between the bird and giraffe. The little bird is eating micro-organisms from the giraffe’s teeth and gaining nutrients. In turn, the giraffe is maintaining its oral hygiene. I think this shows the importance of working together and how we as individuals rely on each other. After all “we get by with a little help from our friends”.
3rd - Dhaka Skyline, Dhaka, Bangladesh by Tauseef Latif
I was on the roof of a building, essentially located at the centre of Dhaka. It was almost 2 AM in the morning, but this city refuses to sleep!
With the exception of the background buildings on the left, most of the structures here are residencial apartment complexes. 19 years in this city, and the point where I'm standing at is the furthest I ever went towards this part of the metropolis. Never been there, never had to. Goes to show how much more there is to discover in your own city!
People and Culture - Satkhira, Bangladesh by Byomkesh Taluker
Critical Global Issues - Seguridad - San Salvador, El Salvador by Gillian Grant
Critical Global Issues - Finding Treasure in Trash, Agbogbloshie, Accra Ghana by Siobhan Doria
Landscape - Duma’s Tear, Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Botswana by Faisal Bakhteyar
Landscape - Gondola Pier, Venice, Italy by Meagan Berlin
Landscape - Away from it all, Wadi Rum, Jordan by Sami Torbey
Landscape – Turn TO Clear Vision, New York City, NY by Matthew McDonald
Turangawaewae - my place to stand, Aoraki/ Mount Cook by Anna Vincent
Holy Lake, Namtso Holy Lake, Tibet, China by Annie Wang
La Union Sunrise, El Salvador by Gillian Grant
Unfettered Freedom, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana by Isabelle Jones
Rangitoto volcano near Auckland, New Zealand by Michel Quenneville
Karate Kids in Cuba; Miramar, Cuba by Monika Bianco
Winning Strides, Mongolia by Stefan Zhelev
Life of a Nomad, Gobi Desert, Mongolia by Stefan Zhelev
First encounter with Canada, Kingston by Thijs van Stigt