Hassan Smith: The Race Against Pollution



Photography and Text by Hassan Smith, Copyright 2016


The Race Against Pollution


After the industrial revolution, pollution has gradually become a major concern not only in the United States, but in the world.  The toxins created from factories, such as oil refineries or nuclear power plants, and the pollution produced from vehicles have both contaminated the air we breath and water we drink.  Every year, as the number of factories and vehicles increases, the level of pollution rises exponentially.  According to business insider, air pollution kills about 3.3 million people a year and effects over 100 million, making it comparable to global diseases such as AIDS and Malaria.  If no actions are taken to reduce the amount of pollution, then by 2050 the number of pollution related deaths could potentially double.

Pollution related disasters, including the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis, have been the topic of discussion for both the Republican and Democratic candidates.  Approximately 10,000 children in Flint, Michigan have been exposed to high levels of lead through their drinking water, while thousands of others try to sustain their everyday life without clean water to drink.  During the Michigan primary battle on March 6, 2016, candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debated over possible measures to reduce the amount of toxins in the water and to further aid the residents of Flint, Michigan.  While both democratic candidates recognized that these people have lacked a common necessity for the majority of Americans, only one devised a sensible plan to oppose the crisis.  That person was Senator Bernie Sanders.  He truly understands the effects pollution has on the human population and environment and what needs to be done to reduce the amount of pollution in the United States.

About The Author: Hassan Smith is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania,  Class of 2019. To read additional articles by Hassan Smith, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/hassan-smith-lies-beneath/

Naeun “Kelly” Ha: Cancun


Photography and Text by Naeun “Kelly” Ha


Over spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to Cancún with one of my best friends. We had been talking about this trip since last fall, and we were so excited to relax by the pool and the beach, get tan, and take a break from all the stress and drama of school. My friend and I were staying at a beautiful resort and we planned to stay there the whole time- after all, we were just there to relax.  After a couple days though, we decided it would be a waste of a trip if we did not take some time to explore Mexico beyond the walls of our comfortable but touristy resort.


On a warm, sunny day we got on a bus and went on a tour of Chichen Itza, a Mayan ruin about two hours away from where we were staying. Walking around the site, I felt like even though other tourists with their selfie sticks and sunscreen surrounded me, the ruins themselves were a reminder of an ancient time. They were frozen in time, standing as evidence of a time when sacrifices and rituals were the center of the Mayan people’s lives.


Later that day, we also went swimming in a cenóte, which is an underground sinkhole. The water was deep, cold, and clear. I was struck by the massiveness of the sinkhole itself, and how there are still things on this earth that can make humans feel very small. Swimming around, I took in the beauty of this site that was hidden underground.


On our way back to the hotel that night, Dana and I were tired, but felt happy and grateful for the day that we had. For a period of time, we were able to experience (as our tour guide said) the “true Mexico.”


Photography and Text, Naeun “Kelly” Ha, Copyright 2016


About The Author: Naeun “Kelly” Ha is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016.

Megan Lane: Women and Trump


Photography and Text by Megan Lane, Copyright 2016


Women and Trump


“It’s 2016! Sexism doesn’t exist anymore!”


When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, I, like many others, thought it was a joke. He is a reality TV star. He’s used to saying all the ridiculous things that come out of his head without dealing with any of the consequences. People really like to watch shows where the stars are real people with outrageous experiences. Trump supporters are Americans that don’t really know what it going on in politics, but really like to watch Trump cause drama. Everyone loves that Trump has rejected the idea of “political correctness.” Why not just say what you want? As long as your intentions are good, it doesn’t matter, right?


If you take each of Donald Trump’s quotes out of context they don’t seem so bad.  Distasteful maybe, but not horrible. What people like Trump and his followers don’t understand is that it’s true that Trump is just saying what everyone is too PC to say. That’s the scariest part. When I asked for models to volunteer for this project, I was flooded with volunteers.


Every woman I knew wanted to be a part of it. And each model got to choose her own Trump quote. These are not just the quotes of Trump, but the quotes of millions of people. Our fathers, our brothers, our peers and strangers have all said things similar to the words I wrote on their skin.


It happens at night when we are walking home alone. It happens in class when someone wants to put us in our place. It happens so often that it is exhausting.


These quotes are written on the skin of these women because each one has heard these words directed at them. The photos are sexual but they shouldn’t be. A bare back, a bare leg, a bare stomach, a bare neck… There is nowhere on a woman’s body that you can write down the misogyny she has encountered without that body part being sexualized.


How would the mood of this project change if the models were men? I look forward to the day in which a woman’s shoulder, breast, and stomach are just as sexual as a man’s shoulder, breast and stomach.  I am an equal opportunity objectifier, after all.


Portrait of Megan Lane by David Pang, Copyright 2016


About The Author: Megan Lane is a junior majoring in Behavioral Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018.

Mexico: Shadows and Colors


Photography and Text by Zoe Yun Zou


Being colonized for nearly three centuries, Spain had many impacts on the culture and art of Mexico. In Mexico City, intricate facades, open courtyards with fountains and Baroque cathedrals all speak of their Spanish origins. However, just like how Mexicans fought for independence in 1812, with colorful houses running up and down the hill in Guanajuato and the green-white-red flags flying above the National Palace, Mexico seems to declare its independence from European influences in every detail.






The word “colonization” is often associated with pain and destruction. For Mexicans, that history is a series of unforgettable sufferings; yet cruelness of life did not ruin their hope and passions. People responded to the wreck of war and poverty with an expression of distinctness and an optimistic attitude.






Unable to afford splendid mansions, Mexicans painted their houses with the brightest and most joyful colors. Especially in Guanajuato, the city known for its silver mine and being the birthplace for the Independence War, pure red, lime green, saffron yellow, baby pink and pantone blue are all around the town. Unable to resist the influence of other cultures, Mexicans purse individuality by refusing repeated paints. If neighbors have already painted their houses with baby blue, Mexicans will choose another blue.





Although each house has its unique color, together they deliver a feeling of unity. Houses with complimentary colors seated next to each other and various colors balanced themselves well with regards to saturation and hue. Simultaneously, they formed a spectacular scene, like the lost palette of Matisse.




Maybe life is hard. Maybe history is painful. Yet, looking through the dark, Mexicans are always searching for wonderfulness and the colorfulness of life. The past can be remembered and life goes on.


Photography and Text by Zoe Yun Zou, Copyright 2016.


About The Author: Zoe Yun Zou, is a Junior enrolled the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. To read additional articles by Zoe Yun Zou go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/zou-zoe-yun-a-woman-an-engineer/

Carmen Garcia Gallego: Timeless Doors


Photography and Text by Carmen Garcia Gallego


Timeless Doors


There is some inherent beauty in doors that other places simply cannot capture. When I look at doors, I think about all the times I have opened and closed them without really noticing their appearance. It is so interesting how little attention I pay to these objects that have accompanied me since I was young- these gateways to my home and to my life. But then again, I never really notice what is continuously right in front of me. I grow so accustomed to consistency that I take it for granted and pay attention only to novelty.

We never notice how time passes by in our surroundings; over time as we grow older, we sculpt the world around us. We redecorate and buy new things, we move and embrace new styles… but doors stay the same, timeless. They have witnessed our past and our present, and they will stay behind when we move on for the sake of our futures. They are cases of subtle beauty hidden in plain sight.

My door seems to speak to me when I go home now: “You forget all the memories we’ve had together. I have taken you to the brightest and darkest places in your memory, in your home, to your light. So beautiful, yet so unnoticed. Look at me now, take my hand, let me show you what we’ve built together. Let me tell you my story and you shall see your own”.



Photography and Text by Carmen Garcia Gallego, Copyright 2016


Self-Portrait by Carmen Garcia Gallego, 2016.
Self-Portrait by Carmen Garcia Gallego, 2016.

About The Author: Carmen Garcia Gallego is a sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018.