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Connecting Cultures Through Round Square Photo Competition
tara murty 14 editorial associate
November 10, 2011

Capturing moments of symbolism, contrasts, and depth, Zoe Perot ’12, Marissa Morte ’12 and Lindsay Stevens ’12 won the three first-place awards at the Round Square photo competition this fall.

The exhibition in the Hilson Gallery weaves together travels and the ideals of Round Square through a collage of unique photographs taken worldwide.

Perot said, “During my time in Holland last year, I would look outside my window for inspiration.” Seeing the buildings across the canal and their swirled reflections upon the water, she said, “The whole idea of distorting what was actually there connects to having to discover and dig a little deeper to understand [Holland’s customs] despite cultural barriers.”

Competition judge and art teacher David Dickinson echoed the notion of finding cultural metaphors within Perot’s photograph.

In the ripples of the canal’s water, he observed, “The symbols are indigenous to different civilizations [such as] the Eskimos and [Native Americans]…The compilation of symbols are civilizations being reflected in the canal.”

Morte chose to capture and submit a scene of the Italian seaside because of its contrasts. She said, “The fiery red and orange buildings not only contrasted with the crystal clear blue water of Italy, but also the brick buildings of Deerfield Academy.”

Mr. Dickinson noted, “The tightly-packed buildings speak to the human condition of people stacked on top of each other.” Finding a juxtaposition, he, like Morte, compared the scene to American architecture: “As opposed to Manhattan skyscrapers, [the series of buildings] looks like children’s blocks piled together [with the] playfulness of primary colors.”

The happiness that radiated from a South African pre-school boy named Lingomso appealed to Stevens during her volunteer experience in an outreach program this summer near Cape Town.

“Lingomso and the other children in the pre-school would take tires and push themselves on the cement because their only toys were the trash around them,” explained Stevens. She added that despite this, “The children were all just so happy.”

Mr. Dickinson noted, “The child is clearly from an arid land, but his smile, the rain boots, and his sitting in a tire are like floating on a river in an inner tube.”

Holly Taylor ’13, who organized the competition said, “Standing at the front of the gallery and seeing the collection was like looking through a treasure box.”

She concluded, “Round Square emphasizes cross-cultural interactions and makes it easier to see how connected we are through proof, like photos.”