Category Archives: Documentary

Hilary Lam: March for Our Lives – Anti-Gun Movement

 

Photography and Text by Hilary Lam, Copyright 2018

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March for Our Lives: Anti-Gun Movement

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Less than one month prior to the anti-gun rallies that took place across the United States, 17 children and adults were killed in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In 2012, 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary school. And the deadliest school shooting in US history occurred at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, which led to the unfortunate deaths of 32 innocent lives.

The discourse on gun control laws escalated immediately after the most recent horrific event. Survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School voiced their concerns at a live-streamed town hall meeting with political representatives and members of the National Rifle Association less than a week later. At this moment, young and empowered teenage students openly confronted Senator Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch directly. Pressing questions were asked and demands were made. The issue of NRA’s monetary donations to representatives, brought up a major concern over the role of incentives in altering gun control policies. Rubio did not state that he would turn down future NRA contributions. Another main concern was the ease in which citizens were able to purchase assault-rifles. Further restrictions and background checks for gun buyers are being demanded.

On March 24, thousands of people gathered in support of the student-run March for Our Lives rally. I personally attended the event at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and was inspired by the number of parents who brought along their young children to this important event. It was reassuring to see my own community, students of all ages and residents of Philadelphia, united in efforts against another malicious attack on young lives due to the fault of guns being in the wrong hands. It was my first time experiencing a collaboration such as this one, and it is impossible not to notice the slogans and words expressed on the many posters. The energy, voices and actions of our youth is one that is so powerful and must be heard by all surrounding generations.

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About The Author: Hilary Lam is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional article by Hilary Lam, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/hilary-lam-the-organic-form-as-sculpture/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Lilibeth Montero: National Dominican Student Conference

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Photography and Text by Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018

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National Dominican Student Conference

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On March 23th- 25th 2018 I attended the National Dominican Student Conference in New York City. The conference featured speeches from famous Dominican’s like Orange is the New Black star Dascha Polanco and rapper Amara La Negra. The conference was designed to be an open and safe space for students of Dominican descent to discuss openly about the issues facing the Dominican community.

One of the main issues facing the Dominican community concerns their identity. After, 174 years the Dominican Republic continues to face the consequences of European colonialism. Once long ago, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were a single Island. But with colonialism, the Island was split into two creating a deeply divided society. Now 174 years later the Dominican Republic and Haiti remain divided. Today, the Dominican youth has accepted and embraced their African routes, however the older Dominican generations continue to deny their African ancestry. Older generations of Dominican people are incredibly racist to Haitians, and value lighter European features.  The students at the conference go by the name “Afro-Latinas” or “Afro-Latinos” embracing both their African and their latin American side. The Dominican community is struggling at finding an identity. Questioning if they are “black” enough, or “latin” enough.

Another aspect of the conference focused on mental health, a taboo subject in the Dominican community. For so long, Dominicans were forced to live in silence. The older generations of Dominicans for so long attempted to hide the sun with their thumb. The conversation was a passionate and heartwarming one.

The conference ended on March 25th with a Traditional Dominican breakfast. At the end of the conference, it was clear students felt empowered and left with hope. Hope to better their community, and confidence that other Dominican students are working hard to make a difference.

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About The Author: Lilibeth Montero is a freshman enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Lilibeth Montero, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/lilibeth-montero-whats-in-my-bag/

 

Also posted in Announcements, Blog, Current Events, Environment, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Anisha Arora: South Africa. The Land of Contradictions

 Native South African dancers outside Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

Native South African dancers outside Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

 

Photography and Text by Anisha Arora, Copyright 2018

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South Africa. The Land of Contradictions

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South Africa is a land of contradictions. What you see on the surface are beautiful beaches, sprawling vineyards, clear sky and dramatic mountains everywhere. You are enchanted and enthralled by the beauty, and rightly so. But slowly, you realize that this beauty hides a brutal truth. The truth of the white man, once again, justifying formalized racism.

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The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town at sunset

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town at sunset

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I got the wonderful opportunity to visit South Africa over the Spring Break, as part of Wharton’s Global Immersion Program. I absolutely fell in love with the country and highly recommend visiting both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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 Penguins at the Boulder Beach

Penguins at the Boulder Beach

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Cape Town is astoundingly beautiful and is often called the Silicon Valley of South Africa, with a budding entrepreneurial ecosystem. The views of the Table Mountain never gets old, the beaches are beautiful and pristine, and the views at the Cape of Good Hope are unparalleled. My favorite memory, though, is of seeing the penguins at Boulder Beach for the very first time. I also recommend visiting Stellenbosch to see the beautiful vineyards and taste the much-touted South African vines.

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A giraffe at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, near Johannesburg

A giraffe at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, near Johannesburg

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It’s easy to lose yourself in the natural beauty of South Africa. However, a trip to South Africa is incomplete without an attempt to understand its complex history. The apartheid museum and the Soweto townships in Johannesburg, as well as, a trip to Robben Island are a must. Robben Island houses the prison where Nelson Mandela was kept locked up for almost 2 decades.

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Words inscribed on the wall of Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

Words inscribed on the wall of Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

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Our guide at Robben Island, an island used for isolation of political prisoners. Our guide was a fellow prisoner with Nelson Mandela (who spent 18 years imprisoned on this island)

Our guide at Robben Island, an island used for isolation of political prisoners. Our guide was a fellow prisoner with Nelson Mandela (who spent 18 years imprisoned on this island)

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 A sign at the Apartheid museum, from the time when apartheid was practiced in South Africa

A sign at the Apartheid museum, from the time when apartheid was practiced in South Africa

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Personally, it was difficult for me to fathom that apartheid ended within my lifetime. It was even more difficult to fathom that human beings can inflict such torture on fellow human beings, with a perfect ability to rationalize these actions. Some of the exhibits at the apartheid museum also reminded me of the divisive language we see today around anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee emotions. We, homo sapiens, never learn from our past.

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Colorful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

Colorful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

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A colorful market in Johannesburg

A colorful market in Johannesburg

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Through my photographs, I have tried to capture the various aspects of South Africa, from the wildlife, the mountains, the beaches to the locals and places of historical significance.

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A local South African playing music on the road

A local South African playing music on the road

 

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About The Author: Anisha Arora is enrolled in the Graduate program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Anisha Arora, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/anisha-arora-a-whiff-of-history/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, History, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn: Photography Students, Women

Frank “Fangyi” Fan: Trade Tensions Between US and China

 

Photography and Text by Frank “Fangyi” Fan, Copyright 2018

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TRADE TENSION BETWEEN US AND CHINA

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US-China Trade War has been in the headlines of major newspapers and websites for the past several weeks. On March. 22, 2018, President Trump signed an executive memorandum which would impose tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports; in response to that, the Chinese government published a statement which would impose tariffs on about $3 billion worth of U.S. exports. If the two countries do not come to an agreement in the following months, a fully-fledged trade war between China and the US would be highly possible, which will have enormous underlying impact on the global economy. This series of photographs strives to examine the current state of the relationship between the two superpowers, from the perspective of a Chinese international student in Philadelphia.

Several pictures  were taken in Philadelphia’s, Chinatown section. The history of Philadelphia’s Chinatown could be tracked to the mid-late 19th century when Cantonese immigrants migrated to Philadelphia  to open laundries and restaurants around the neighborhood. Nowadays it has become a vibrant community of Asian Americans as well as a great destination for Chinese international students to have a taste of home. The cuisine in Chinatown is always one of the top reasons to attract visitors. Although the potential impact of the trade war on Chinese restaurants in the U.S. would be limited, the prevalence of Chinese cuisine implies the size and influence of the Chinese community in the U.S. The tension between the two countries would definitely play a role in the daily life of Chinese people living in the U.S. Besides the restaurants, in Chinatown, mom-and-pop stores that sell goods imported from China could also be easily found. Those stores sell everything from hardware products to household goods, mostly imported from China. Relying on the cheaper labor in China, those products compete in the market by having a more attractive price. If trade war arises, those goods would lose a significant share in the market for sure. Right at the edge of Chinatown, six months into its construction, the Eastern Tower Community Center has been attracting attention from visitors in Chinatown. Located at 10th and Vine, the new community center is just two blocks away from the heart of Chinatown, which hopefully would drive an entire renovation of the neighborhood and the local economy.

As the busiest port terminal in Philadelphia, the Packer Terminal was a great spot to experience the influx of imported goods into one of the major cities on the east coast. While I was there trying to take picture of the colorful containers, I was actually ousted by the security person there, who said that the port only allowed relevant professionals to enter. However, I did take a couple pictures to showcase the volume and variety of the imported goods stored at the terminal. Everyday, hundreds of trucks come over here to bring the goods shipped from overseas to all kinds of places in Pennsylvania. For every one of us, we experience the benefits of globalization on a daily basis. With that in mind, I hope that U.S. and China could settle down on the current trade conflicts since no one would want to see a trade war  actually happen.

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About The Author: Fangyi “Frank” Fan is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/fangyi-frank-fan-colors-of-bottles/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, History, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Travel, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Esther Fleischer: It’s a Dog’s World in West Philadelphia

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Photography and Text by Esther Fleischer, Copyright 2018

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IT’S A DOG’S WORLD IN WEST PHILADELPHIA

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Back in elementary school, my friends and I would always ask about how others see color. What if when I hold up my favorite blue Crayola marker, someone else sees the green one instead? What if girls see pink as blue-is that why girls like pink and guys like blue? How can we tell? Are there special glasses that we could use, or a way to transport ourselves into another’s mind to see through their eyes?

I never did completely get answers to those questions, but whatever the answer to the above may be, dogs do see color differently than we do. Rather like a form of color blindness called Protanopia, dogs only have two types of cones rather than the three that the average person has. Without the third type of cone, dogs see on a spectrum that ranges from yellow to blue to dark grey rather than the standard rainbow.

Wandering through West Philadelphia, searching for anything that would catch a dog’s eye. A squirrel, streaking across the park, running away from you as you get closer to it. It climbs the tree and stops, staring at you.

A bright fire hydrant, yellow in the dog’s view. A flag waving in the bright, clear sky. A car, a trash can, caution tape surrounded by leaves on the brick sidewalk.

Most importantly are all of the friends you meet along the way. Another dog in the park. A kind person willing to throw a stick.

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About The Author: Esther Fleischer is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Esther Fleischer, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/esther-fleischer-a-horse-show-through-still-life-photos/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn Photography, Women