2016 Vistas Exhibition

By Rohan Chatterjee, LACS MA Student/CLAS Communications Assistant

Chicagoan photographer Edward Jean Steichen knew the power of capturing fleeting moments. Intimately acquainted with the importance of documenting the desolation and restructuring of the post-war global psyche, Steichen left this poignant ode to the capacity of the still to connect audiences to new realities:

“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.” (“To Catch the Instant,” Time Magazine, 1969)

Here at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) the spectacle of the photograph is as much about the photographer and the audience as the image. With that in mind we present the winning entries from the second annual Vistas photography competition. Through Vistas, CLAS is proud to promote the tradition of sharing moments through the photography of our affiliated students on their respective journeys to explore and understand the nuances of Latin America.

The Vistas open house will be held Friday December 2 between 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the CLAS seminar room, Psy-Kelly 114. The open house will include a light reception and a chance to learn more about the winning photographs, as well as the opportunity to connect with fellow community members over our shared affinity for Latin America.

This year Vistas received 36 submissions capturing moments from nine Latin America countries by students in 10 different University of Chicago departments. A total of 10 finalist photographs will be will be on display in the Center until November 2017.

Furthermore, CLAS is pleased to announce this year’s ‘Best in Show’ feature winner, Perry Wong. Perry, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology, captured this striking image while traveling in highland Guatemala where he was carrying out linguistic and ethnographic field research on linguistic diversity in Cunén, in the department of Quiché.

Perry recalled that he was “in a bus leaving Quetzaltenango and noticed everyone was looking out the window,” though the ethnographer-turned-photographer was quick to mention the eruption was “not a particularly large one. The large volcano in the picture (Santa María) is not erupting; rather it is Santiaguito, a smaller volcano behind it.”

Special mention for our ‘Best in Show Runner Up’ goes to R. Sandy Hunter (Patacancha Valley, Cusco, Peru).

The other competition finalists are: Chelsie Coren (San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya and Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico), Steven Schwartz (Upper Guajira and Manaure, Colombia), Regina Favela (Reserva Punta Curinanco, Chile), Agnes Mondragón Celis Ochoa (Oaxaca, Mexico), Erik Levin (San Juan de Inuya, Peru), and Christopher Grant (Jérémie, Grand'Anse, Haiti).

Honorable mention goes to: Lorna Hadlock (Salvador, Brazil), Jian Ren (Torres del Paine National Park, Chile), Michelle Gan (Havana, Cuba), Ebenezer Concepcion (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Maggie Borowitz (Rio de Janiero, Brazil), and Alysia Mann Carey (Guachene, Cauaca, Colombia).

To see all winning entries click here.