The Global Justice Academy is committed to innovation in scholarship and research as part of our ethos as an interdisciplinary network that supports research, teaching, and knowledge exchange on global justice issues. As part of upholding this ethos, the Global Justice Academy held its first inaugural photography competition in the 2013-2014 academic year. Colin Cavers and David Williams of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) supported the competition from the outset, opening it to Honours Photography students at ECA. The competition has continued to run every year, following the great success of the first year, and has grown to include an international collaboration with students from China at Nanjing Institute for Industry and Technology.
The theme of the 2017 competition was ‘Peacebuilding’. Peacebuilding encompasses efforts to contribute to and understand the processes of establishing sustainable peace. The Global Justice Academy's Peace and Conflict Lab addresses various dimensions of peacebuilding, with projects dealing with violent conflict as a central issue for global peace, how communities are affected by violence, and how civil society, institutional actors and international aid agencies respond (successfully or not) in order to build peace. Whereas the general public is regularly exposed to images of war and violence, peace receives limited attention in photographic representation. These contributions of photography students feed into Visualising Peace.
Winners from the Edinburgh College of Art:
Winner for Best Series – Chloe Hamill
Chloe Hamill, 20, is from Liverpool and studies Photography at Edinburgh College of Art. Chloe works using analogue techniques and is interested in conceptual photography. Her work in this year’s competition focuses on the portrayal of guns in the media and the damage done by the normalisation of violence. Chloe uses toy guns to explore the concerning messages implicit in giving children guns to play with, and the resemblance to the ‘fake’ violence of Hollywood movies displayed for entertainment.
Winner for Best Single Image – Chloe Caulfield
Chloe Caulfield, 23, studies Photography at Edinburgh College of Art. She has a background in commercial photography and has worked at the Commonwealth Games and with companies such as BareMinerals, Morgan Sindall and the National Theatre. Her work in this year’s competition focuses on the significance of hand gestures as universal symbols of peace, humanity and the potential for dialogue. The images show hands intertwining, next to each other, and hands further apart not connected, representing the non-linear processes of peace building. When she graduates, Chloe hopes to use her accumulated skills in the photographic industry.
Winners from the Nanjing University:
Winner for Best Series – Whu Cheng Zhe
Winner for Best Single Image – Yan Yong
Commended (Series) – Liao Han
Commended (Single Image) – Gu Ying
A huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners.