"Field Notes" Photography Exhibition Showcases Student Research
Two students received awards for their photography in the LLILAS Benson student photography exhibition this fall. Giovana Sanchez, a master's student in Latin American studies and journalism, earned a prize for "Mangaba e mel," a photo she took while visiting São Paulo for research. Jesse (Jesús) Nazario, an undergraduate student in journalism and International Relations and Global Studies, won for "By-products of La Milpa," taken in Ahuelicán, Guerrero, Mexico, his parents' hometown.
Sanchez writes, "I research the absence of women in Brazilian history textbooks and I have been to São Paulo and Natal this past summer to do field work. I interviewed professors and book editors and also went to libraries, universities, and to a protest that happened in Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, after the gang rape of a girl by 33 men." Her photo shows mangaba fruit and honey for sale at a street market.
According to Nazario, "My time in my ancestral community helped me learn and re-conceive the concept of nature as an eccentric part of my cultural identity as an indigenous man. Through these experiences, I was inspired to research rural development issues, one of them being the reduction of overall biodiversity in Mexico as a result of adopting new biotechnologies—primarily focusing on genetically modified products (GMOs). GMOs themselves have a complicated history in Mexico and pose a risk to biodiversity such as traditional growing techniques regarding the milpa, a complex Mesoamerican growing technique that allows simultaneous cultivation of corn, beans, and squash (pumpkins). In this photo, Agripina Santiago Martínez removes pumpkin seeds as part of the town's harvest season, la cosecha."
Each year, LLILAS Benson invites students university-wide to document their summer travel and research related to Latin America or US Latina/o communities, and to submit photographs for the exhibition. This year, the student contributors represent BA, MA, and PhD programs from over ten different departments or disciplines, including Latin American studies, journalism, social anthropology, architecture, social work, sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, global policy studies, Plan II, and geography. Two winning photographers received cash awards for their work.
The exhibition is on view in the first floor corridor of the Benson Latin American Collection during library hours. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief explanation of the research or travel that led to the image on display.
Field Notes runs through November 23, 2016.