Carmen Garcia Gallego: Modern Day Kids
When the sky is clear, I love to walk around the University of Pennsylvania and look. I am constantly amazed by the mix of new and old that surrounds the campus. Buildings, technology, people- diversity takes on many forms in such a chameleonic and spirited environment. The only thing that does not change, but is also always changing, is the youth: I am fascinated by undergraduates who seem to share nothing in common. Myself being a diverse, international woman, I was curious to see how people from such different backgrounds expressed themselves through their clothes, words, and gestures; I wanted the lens to show me the lives of others. I portrayed students of different genders, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic background, and intellectual tastes and aspirations.
What I saw surprised me: even from different angles and in distinctive locations, people were more similar than what I anticipated. No one knew how to respond to the camera, but everyone was friendly and receptive. What I learned from this experience is that, no matter how different we think we are, underneath we are all the same. College is a great place to learn from each other’s diversity and acknowledge that we are more connected than we realize by our hopes, dreams, and aspirations. As I prepare to take a break from Penn, I gather that the people I will meet will not be much different from the ones I portrayed: under the guise of change, we are all just modern day kids.
About The Author: Carmen Garcia Gallego is a sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To read more articles by Carmen, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/carmen-garcia-gallego-the-youth-and-the-political-candidates/
Photography and Text by Leniqueca Welcome, Copyright 2016
Performing Non-Performance: The Photographs of Leniqueca Welcome
As a former architect now engaged in doctoral research in anthropology, concerned with the politics of representation, my pictures foreground the agentive work photographs do as objects allowing persons to negotiate different ways of being. My work explores how photographs could be used beyond simply reproducing a particular subjective experience of what is present at the moment of taking a picture as I engage with images as affective artefacts rather than solely objective visual content. With a belief that there is no one concrete self but instead a continuously constructed personhood that is always performing as part of daily life to navigate situations, I am especially interested in the ways the process of constructing the photo can allow the production of material images of multiple imaginaries of both the photographer and the subject as a collaborative process.
Women are constantly commanded to perform happiness in their daily lives: we are often asked on the street to smile by strangers; told by multiple media campaigns that a woman’s best accessory is her smile; and told that tears, rage and ambition make us unattractive. This particular project contests role conformity to this prescription of proper femininity as it explores the beauty contained in displays of strength, vulnerability and desire. The pictures attempt to translate the depth of personhood that is often forced to be hidden behind a smile. As these photographs are captured, the women perform for the camera but they refuse to perform for society; they own their own representation.
About The Author: Leniqueca Welcome is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, has a degree in Architecture, and is currently enrolled in the graduate program of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. To read more articles by Leniqueca Welcome, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/leniqueca-welcome-black-men-for-bernie/
Photography and Text by Alice Qiu, Copyright 2016
As an international student from China, Chinatown has always been my favorite place. Whenever I travel to a new city, I will always try its Chinatown, if there is one. I’ve been to Chinatowns in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Some of them are bigger. Some are more authentic. However, the one that I visit the most is the one on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.
Food is the foremost attraction. Back at home, in high school, I once told my mother that I prefer Western food over Chinese food. My parents and I would dine out once a week and I always picked French, Italian or Spanish restaurants. However, after I came to the States for college, after endless dining halls, I suddenly realized how much I missed Chinese food. From there, going to Chinatown once a week has become a must do for me.
As I become more and more familiar with Chinatown in Philadelphia, I started to get to know the people there. I talk to them and I want to know more about their lives. The one who works in my favorite bubble tea place is a student at Drexel. The waitress in the Xi’an Sizzling Food has been there for three years. There is a very good lawyer that only helps people who don’t speak English at all. Chinatown is a small community. For some, it is a dinner place. For others, it is a home away from home.
About the Author: Alice Qiu is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016. To read additional articles by Alice Qiu, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/alice-qiu-lively-hong-kong/
Photography and Text by Carolyn Wong, Copyright 2016
It is amazing what an effect your surroundings can have on the person you become. Whether it is the location, the culture, or the people, you will find yourself changed. Between living in a female led household and attending 13 years of single sex education, my life has been strongly marked by the presence of girls and women alike. Too often are we classified as a homogenous group, when really, we exist as a diverse crowd. Some of us are delicate, sensitive, quiet, and others are gritty, walled, and outspoken. The differences that mark us may be superficially subtle, but internally speak mountains. This portfolio is comprised of not only some of those that I have grown up with, but also those that have impacted my life. And so here I wished to share them with you.
About The Author: Carolyn Wong is a sophomore majoring in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To read more articles by Carolyn Wong, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/carolyn-wong-rome-place-time/
Photography and Text by Kieran Koch-Laskowski
Nicaraguan Street Hound
In June of 2013, I found myself at Houston Intercontinental Airport waiting to clear customs upon my return to the States. I stood anxiously with a duffel bag slung carefully over my shoulder, nervous that my ‘souvenir’ would bar me from getting home. As the customs agent opened my bag for inspection, pointed ears and a pair of chestnut eyes emerged. I handed the officer a set of documents, and after a cursory glance, my four-legged companion and I were on our way.
When I look at him today, Nico is a far cry from the sickly, orphaned puppy I first laid eyes on during my weeklong expedition to Granada, Nicaragua. There, I volunteered at a community veterinary clinic operated by WorldVets, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals and their human caretakers in poverty-stricken areas around the world. In the impoverished barrios surrounding Granada, hundreds of dogs, cats, horses, and other livestock suffer from poor health and malnutrition due to the cost and inaccessibility of proper care. Nico was the exception.
Instead of fighting for survival in Central America, my Nicaraguan Street Hound – as I jokingly refer to him as – spends his days in Philadelphia living a life of luxury. When he’s not playing or chasing squirrels, he’s usually snuggled up doling out kisses. It has been indescribably fulfilling to watch him grow and flourish, and I eagerly look forward to the days when I will be able to help more animals and people as a veterinarian myself.
About The Author: Kieran Koch Laskowski is a senior majoring in Biological Behavior in the College of the University of Pennsylvania. Class of 2016. To read more articles by Kieran, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/kieran-koch-laskowski-life-on-baltimore-avenue/