Highlights from Global Bridges Photography Contest!
Current students recently submitted photographs seeking to answer the question: What does it look like to be a part of a global, interconnected community? Take a look at what they came up with!
Flags of different countries and cultures - Hannah Morris (Winner-Most Iconic)
This was actually an artistic project done in London in support of Ukraine. The act of placing flags representing all the peoples of the earth in unity is a beautiful artistic representation of global interconnectedness. I also found that the act of kneeling on the ground to make this art is also a very important illustration of honoring other countries and cultures.
Stained glass window - Mary Taylor Jackson
This photo was taken from inside a Catholic church in Mindo, Ecuador. On the left side, you can see a typical house in this town, and on the right is the stained glass cross window pane. To me, it is a representation of how the church’s role in the world is not only to be a spiritual refuge and source of hope, but also a living and active presence of transformation in our world, combatting systems of oppression and poverty. We cannot stay within our stained glass towers; we must move out towards this broken and hurting world, opening the window, so to speak.
Instant Collage / Revolving Door - Talya Byrd
I call this photo an instant collage. I took it while inside a revolving door, so the images are compiled of scenes from inside the building and reflections of the outside on the glass. In one instant, this photo captured dozens of different people, conversations, and scenes. To me, being a part of a global, interconnected community often feels overwhelming. It’s impossible to know everyone’s story all the time, yet through the constant flow of mass media, it seems like it is our duty to pay attention to it all. If you try to take in this entire photo as one scene, it becomes difficult to make sense of and starts to blur. However, if you take your time and focus on each little piece one at a time, you might begin to comprehend the individual narratives.
Muddy feet's support - Megan Smoot (Winner-Staff Choice)
This photo of the feet of me and two of my friends was taken after a day spent in a neighboring village for a football tournament. It rained off and on throughout the day, causing very muddy conditions. Eager to get home after the long day, we started walking instead of waiting for transportation. My shoes quickly lost their traction because of the mud, so I resorted to walking barefoot, slipping and sliding along the way. The owners of the two other pairs of feet became my support system, holding me up for the miles we walked. This is the global community: friends, despite cultural and racial and linguistic boundaries, integrated with Mother Earth, walking together and supporting each other through thick and thin.
Battle between Fischer floors - Alden Kruse (Winner-Best Use of Storytelling)
Aerial photograph taken of the battle between Fischer floors. While this seems like a silly battle with no real worth, from above, an interconnected community can be seen. The formations being made, the friendships being developed, and the sense of pride for one’s own floor is evidently shown. It is this childlike fun that draws us closer together as a campus as well as globally through Christ.
Chadō demonstration - Mary Kim
This photo was taken at the Japanese House in London at a Chadō demonstration. The audience had the opportunity to learn about the traditional matcha ceremony from a tea master, and get a glimpse into the intricacies of tea-making. The respect and attentiveness from the audience demonstrates what it means to be a part of a global, interconnected community. As Christians, a part of this global community, we should embrace other cultures and traditions with a deep curiosity and reverence for the beauty expressed within them.
Lens through bubbles - Michaela Liddle (Winner-Most Artistic)
This picture represents a special memory of going to downtown Warsaw with my family to visit the Christmas market where we got to experience part of European culture. Not only that, but the large bubble in the photo that alters the color slightly shows how we may see the world differently through our own lenses, but when many come together, they make something beautiful, even better and more colorful.
Zambian Checkers - Brennan Walter
Here is a group of Zambian youth playing a traditional game of checkers—though this is not just checkers. This is draft, a slightly more strategic and incredibly intense version of checkers that almost everybody in Zambia knows how to play (and most of them will crush you if you dare face them!). Over this board, language barriers don’t matter. Yes, I speak the most popular language in the world, but just because they can only communicate with broken English does not mean they are any less brilliant. Playing—and losing a lot at—this fun game was a good reminder that English proficiency or non-proficiency are not markers of intelligence, even though it can be easy for our minds to go down that road. I had many entertaining interactions this summer through draft, and this picture highlights the local sensation that it has become.
Nicaraguan music - Phoebe Jeske
The plinking strings of a guitar harmonized with a rooster’s crow. Two girls had dug up a guitar from a classroom and were plunking at random. Around them, dust kicked up as some boys tossed a dirty-white baseball around the schoolyard. As I turned my head towards the music, I realized that these notes were the first acoustic music I had heard in the weeks that I had spent in Nicaragua. “¿Puedes tocarla?” They handed the instrument over to me, giggling. Over the next few minutes, I tuned up the strings and began to teach them a few simple chords, guiding their fingers to the same frets as mine. I took this film photo on a camera from the 1970s right afterwards. Living in a rural Nicaraguan community this summer, I was continually struck by moments like these when we connect across cultural boundaries through shared listening.
Angels Unawares statue at The Vatican - Jillian Sherwin
This photo was taken during the Wheaton in the Holy Lands trip while visiting the Vatican in Rome, Italy. According to NPR, "on the Vatican's World Day of Migrants and Refugees, in September, Pope Francis unveiled a sculpture in St. Peter's Square to commemorate the travails and hopes of displaced people through human history... This latest work, Angels Unawares, takes its name from the biblical imperative from Hebrews: ‘Be welcoming to strangers, many have entertained angels unawares.’" I'm so grateful I got to capture this moment where a father shows his daughter this statue that displays a global, interconnected community.