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Global Zero Of BC Hosts First Annual Photo Contest

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Monday, April 30, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

The Boston College chapter of Global Zero (GZBC), an organization that aims to end nuclear proliferation, announced the winner of its first annual Color or Ash Photography Contest in an awards ceremony held Thursday night. The contest featured 195 submissions of photos meant to show the beauty of a world that would be lost if a nuclear war were to take place.

“Life is filled with colors, literally and metaphorically,” said Andy Hu, president of GZBC and A&S ’14. “This year, we asked students to submit photos that best represent or brings out their colors of life.”
The unique title of the contest refers to all the world has to lose if nuclear proliferation is not stopped.

“At the other end of the spectrum is ash,” Hu said. “A world destroyed by warfare, consumed by hatred and agony. Cities obliterated in an instant—humans evaporated into shadows that forever haunt the streets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
The winner of the contest was determined by a combination of a panel of professors and administrators and by student votes on Facebook. The votes of over 800 BC students and the panel members selected Sarah Swanke, A&S ’12, as the winner. She received a $275 gift card to Best Buy for her submission titled “Watercolor,” a picture of a boy being struck by water. The second and third place winners of the contest received $100 and $25, respectively. Students paid $2 to enter the contest.

The purpose of the Color or Ash contest was not to reward the most professional student photographers, but simply to present photos to BC students that represent the beauty of the world around them.

“When we started planning this photo contest, we did not want to have a competition at the professional level,” Hu said. “The soul of this contest is its idea and the image it presents: the beauty of life. Let these pictures remind us all of the threat of nuclear weapons to our world and what we have to lose.”
Another focus of the contest was the beauty of each human being’s unique perspective and memories. Most entrants captioned their photos with explanations of the context in which each one was taken and why the photo represented their perception of color.

“Every submission counts and is beautiful in its own way because it presents a precious and happy moment in the photographer’s life,” Hu said. “Through photographs, we can look at the world through the eyes of another and appreciate their unique perspective and cherish their memories. Every picture represents the colors of the life of a different person.”
Through the beauty of the 195 photo submissions that GZBC posted on Facebook, the organization hoped to instill in students the importance of working to stop nuclear proliferation immediately.

“Look around, look into the colors that capture the beauty of life, then look at those moments of the suffering of the millions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, frozen in black and white,” Hu said. “Millions more will suffer if we do not do something today. So let us unite and protect what we love and cherish. Let us make this world a little more colorful and with a little less ash.”

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