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Picture Migration 2023

The Spring 2023 Great Migrations Photography Competition

“A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing…”

- Susan Sontag, On Photography, p.10

The Department of Politics and Human Rights launches our second annual collaborative photography competition open to all majors. The competition is part of this Spring’s “ Great Migrations Academy,” a college-wide, semester-long series of speakers and workshops focused on the social, political, cultural, and artistic issues raised by the movement of people across borders of all kinds.

A Call for Photographic Work to Interrogate Questions of Migration and Border-Crossing

Photography renders the present, but also helps us dream. As waves of Covid 19 have left no social system untouched during the last two years, we are prompted to imagine and transform the future. For example,

  • How do experiences of migration, displacement, exile, and/or border crossing affect peoples’ lives and worldviews?
  • How do we see that in art and cultural production?
  • How can our scholarship, scientific inquiry, and creative work contribute to understanding and transforming these experiences?

The Great Migrations Social Justice Academy is delighted to announce that “Between,” by Creative Writing and Theater Arts double major Elena Maldonado (’23) has been awarded first prize in the “Picture Migration” photo contest.

Of Elena’s winning photo, Associate Professor of Politics and Human Rights Manolo Estavillo writes, “The photo depicts an airplane in descent, a slanted horizon, and streaks of water pushed by the wind on the window of the airplane, reminding us of the plane of the photo itself. Like the landing of many immigrants in the U.S. the landing of the airplane in this photo is not only not peaceful but frightening. Another story of hope against the odds.” Her photo will be published on the Great Migrations Social Justice Academy website and in Issue IV of TwoTwoOne.NYC, which will be launched this coming Tuesday.








Associate Professor Manolo Estavillo, PhD
Department of Politics and Human Rights