Our sixth issue features photos that aspire to capture the complexity, beauty, and vivacity of the international travels of Smith students and alumnae. As the photographers’ essays highlight, a photo can be emblematic of a memory, a culture, or experience. Reflecting on their photos, they both revive the past moment and discover something new. We hope you enjoy reading the issue as much as we enjoyed compiling it.
The theme of our next issue of Global Impressions focuses on transitions, specifically global transitions: attending Smith College as an international student, studying abroad, travelling the world, or immersing yourself in a new language or country through your studies. What can you tell us about your experiences transitioning into new cuisines, climates, and languages? We invite you to write about a cultural or linguistic transition you underwent and how it has shaped and deepened your identity. Submissions are being accepted until Monday, April 4th, 2016. For more details, see our submission page.
— The Editors
Have you ever wanted a peek into someone else’s study abroad experience? It’s hard to predict which aspects of a foreign country will be most memorable.
Asrie Karma interviewed by Khulood Fahim
Architecture senior Asrie Karma spent her junior year in Córdoba, Spain. During her stay, she visited Granada to see one of the region’s architectural wonders. It was there that she stopped to take a photo of the Comares Palace at the Alhambra, a fortress built during the Nasrid dynasty, Spain’s last Muslim dynasty.
It took getting lost in some of Cairo’s oldest neighborhoods, driving up a hill, watchingin shock as gas tanks fell off a cart in front of us, and annoying a cafe owner by parking right in front of his shop (the only spot we could find) to get to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun last summer. Yet, as soon as we entered, the chaos outside the mosque’s walls seemed to fade away.
Koumba Dem interviewed by Isabelle Fitzpatrick
Senegal is not an island, but beaches and oceans are a big part of the country. We have beaches everywhere. Le Terrou-bi, which means “this earth,” is one of the best hotels in the country and my family goes there often for celebrations.
Guilin, China, December 27th, 2015. What you see in this photo is a bamboo raft afloat on a lake in South China, surrounded by low, jagged mountains. In the distance, a local is propelling a boat forward with a long wooden paddle. The paddle appears distorted, as though the man paddling it was still moving it from air to water when the photo was taken. What you don’t see, however, is any detail about our rower…
Before spending my junior year abroad in Paris, I had never been outside of North America, and I was excited for the opportunity to travel around France and around Europe. One of my favorite memories is of spending Christmas Day in Nimes with my family.
I’ve always made it a point to be a traveler, not a tourist or worse, a visitor. To me being a traveler means immersing oneself in an experience and not merely observing it. It means being spontaneous and willing to let go of any previous notions of what one came to see. It means departing from the familiar and it often means putting down the camera to actually be grounded in a moment.
Ke (Coco) Zhang
On the morning of January 7, 2015, two terrorists attacked the headquarters of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and killed over 10 cartoonists, staff, and police. It was a terrible moment and people were left in shock and anger. A week later, over 3.7 million people participated in a demonstration to show their support for freedom of speech. I was one of the 3.7 million.
One afternoon in August 1973, I jumped off a train with two friends to see the mosaics of Byzantine Ravenna. I first saw the resplendent images formed with glass cubes … projected on a large screen in ART 100. At that time, there were few books on Byzantine mosaics with color pictures. I wanted to see them in person and take photographs.