SJC post-grad wins POLSIS Photography Comp
On October 24, 2012, Ali Rae, postgraduate Communication for Social Change student and SJC employee won the 2012 POLSIS International Photography Competition with her photograph from a protest near the Palestinian town of Bi’lin.
The amateur competition is in its fourth year and is open to students, staff and alumni of UQ. The competition awards images that represent a political, international or cross-cultural experience and have artistic merit.
The winning photograph was taken during a visit to Palestine and Israel in early 2012, in a town that has been organising weekly protests against the construction of the West Bank Barrier.
“The wall is being constructed well past the internationally recognised Green Line, separating local Palestinians from their land. Israeli forces always intervene to prevent protesters from approaching the wall, and violence usually erupts,” said Ali.
“I was standing on top of a hill watching the tear gas from the Israeli military fill the air when I captured this photo. For me, it encapsulates the dichotomy of these two neighbours, who are likely to never meet.
“The teargas can still be seen blowing across the grass, rising from the fighting below. From this perspective the wall is a lot clearer – the 8 metre high pylons cutting into the land below.
“The local Palestinian man took a minute to catch his breath, before disappearing over the hill, mask in hand.
“This photo strikes a chord with me as you can see that he is holding no weapons, yet will face the heavy military presence from the Israeli forces from the other side of the wall.
“For me, the difficulty of the Palestinian struggle in Bi’lin is depicted in this photo, as they try to assert justice over what they consider to be their land,” adds Ali.
Ali completed a dual Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of Arts program (double majoring in Peace and Conflict Analysis) at UQ, during which time she undertook a University Exchange to Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, a Pacific journalism placement in Samoa and an AIESEC development internship in Romania. Never one to rest on her laurels, Ali will complete a Masters of Communication for Social Change in June 2013.
”Politics, international relations and cross–cultural encounters have long been a rich vein for photo-journalists photographers and film makers, often enabling others to view a different perspective on the world or interpret events, cultures and encounters - these are also areas in which many of our students and staff engage” said Head of School Professor Gillian Whitehouse.