Photographs give us a unique way to preserve a memory or moment in time. For this inaugural issue, Smith students submitted photographs from their time abroad, along with their thoughts on how each photo highlights an intercultural encounter. The original call for photos was part of the International Photo Contest hosted by the Lewis Global Studies Center. Though students captured experiences that ranged from quotidian to adventurous, they all raise questions of what it means to experience a culture in the role of a foreigner. We are currently accepting submissions for our second issue, “Adapting.” See our submission page for details.
I was in Rome for the first time, staying in a tiny rented apartment in a narrow street behind Piazza Navona. There was an Italian moka pot—the kind you put on the stove to make espresso—but I didn’t know how to use it, so I went down to the Caffè della Pace for a cappuccino in the morning.
As I sat in my host family’s apartment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with its permanently wide-open windows, which welcomed many birds, it took me a while to realize that this was not your typical party.
It was an especially grey, winter day in Berlin, but the chill in my bones came from more than just the humidity. There I was, standing face to face with the remaining concrete barrier of the Berlin Wall.
When I walked through the entrance, the first thing I noticed was the unique decor: the walls were decorated with currencies from around the world. There were bills and coins taped everywhere—on the walls, on the ceiling, in the nooks and crannies of the hall.
I felt a great responsibility to my family to make the most out of the opportunity. In an effort to include them in my travels, I wanted to capture momentary glimpses of my intercultural experience in photos not only of the extraordinary but also of the everyday interactions that I would encounter.
The sun is setting, the sky is gorgeous, the weather is brisk, my feet are sore, and my friend Mara and I have gone astray on the wrong side of Mount Inari.
The rest of the house is quiet because Hana warned that from 7-8 p.m. she is not to be disturbed while she watches her favorite Turkish soap opera. I decided that watching the show would be an ideal way to demonstrate to Hana and the family that I wished to be a part of their daily routines.
“There is nothing so mouth-watering… As hot, freshly roasted chestnuts,” at least according to the juniors of the class of 1951 in Paris, as reported in The Springfield Sunday Republican on February 5, 1950.