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New Student Photo Series 2011 – #28

At this point in time this is the last submission of photos from incoming students that we have received, and Orientation starts on Monday.  Thank you to everyone that made contributions throughout the summer.  We might post some more photos in the future . . . if new students decide to set aside class and social time to submit more.

Jesse Alejandro Cottrell  MIA 2013

Photo Descriptions:

4th of July Float (Salem, NY): This picture was taken during Salem, New York’s 2011 4th of July parade. Artists in residence at Salem Art Works (SAW), the artist colony where I serve as Associate director and Development Coordinator, sit atop and stand upon a dry sauna created by Jonas Lindberg, an artist in residence at SAW. From the sidelines, parade goers gawk and demand candy.

Taken during a show by The Big Fatt at Brooklyn’s Trash Bar. I am the singer and guitar player. The unseen audience is sated by the open bar and free tater tots, which undoubtedly make our music sound better.

Iron Pour SAW 1 and 2 (Salem, NY): Pouring iron into sculptural forms is a monthly occurrence at Salem Art Works (SAW).

The artist colony where I serve as Associate Director and Development Coordinator. Iron poured at SAW reaches temperatures above 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Artists from across the United States and Europe travel to Salem to pour iron.

New Student Photo Series 2010 – Entry #6

Thank you to all of the new students that have been sending in photos.  It can take me a bit to catch up as they come in so thanks for your patience.  For new students that want to contribute, please see this entry for instructions.

The first set of photos were sent in by Sujata Bordoloi, an incoming MPA student with an Economic and Development focus.


The first two photos are of a school in the Wau region of Southern Sudan. The rusty tank is a reminder of the 21 years of civil war. Children in Southern Sudan finally get a chance to return to normalcy albeit in very basic conditions. The school ground used to be a Church where children now gather under trees to learn. Resources are scarce and teachers lack the requisite training to assimilate newly enrolled repatriated children from neighbouring Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. It does not deter teachers and children from coming to school everyday with chairs and blackboards in 50 degrees heat – a truly inspiring sight!

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First day at a temporary school for children from a slum in Martissant, Port-Au-Prince. This was one of the first temporary schools to have opened in PAP 7 weeks after the disaster. The earthquake of January 2010 in Haiti was more devastating than the 2004 Tsunami in terms of the thousands of people killed and millions rendered homeless and without basic services.


The next set of photos were submitted by Ryan Arant, an incoming MIA student.


The first photo was taken in Dahiya, the Hezbollah controlled Shiite “borough” of southern Beirut shortly after the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War.  It was taken during a thoroughly guided tour of the area and with the not so tacit approval of our hosts.


The second photograph was taken in the Palestinian refugee camp Sabra and Shatila in West Beirut.  This child was one of the tens of thousands of refugees displaced from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli by a conflict between the Lebanese Internal Security Forces and the Fatah al-Islam militant group.  His face was painted as a show of support for “Palestinian solidarity”.


The third photo was taken in Syria about 50 miles outside of the city of Hama.  The man in this photograph (a shepherd named Amjed) not only invited me and my companions to spend the afternoon with him in his tent— he also rode his horse several miles into the desert to search for (and almost instantly find) a missing cell phone, used several days worth of his earnings to provide us with a meal, and managed to disinfect a series of wounds I had recently acquired in a fall with arak, the locally popular aniseed-flavored liquor (in the latter case completely against my will).


New Student Photo Series 2010 – Entry #1

Today the blog kicks of the second annual new student summer photo series.  We welcome recently admitted students to submit photos and details about how to do so and what to include an be found in this entry.

The first set of photos come from Zhang Bingyuan, an incoming MIA student from China.


The first photo shows my home in Suzhou city in the province of Jiangsu. It’s a very traditional Chinese garden and we raise lots of fishes in the pool. They often get mad about food, which is shown in the second photo.



This photo is my aunt Yuan Aihong. She is a Beijing Opera singer and that was her performing Drunken Yang Guifei, a renowned beauty of the Tang dynasty.



The next photo comes from Karin Vazquez, an incoming MIA student that will focus in Economic and Political Development.  Her comments are below.


Just like you, one day I will devote some time to taking photography classes. In the meantime I would be glad to share the photo attached with other SIPA students. Believe it or not, it was taken by accident during my honeymoon trip to Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina) last year. I was trying to focus the road sign when the poor little boy came up to the car window begging for money.

A quick note: in Boznia-Herzegovina road signs are in both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Due to the continuing ethnic disputes, however, the cyrillic scripts in the road signs close to the country’s border with Croatia are all spray-painted out. The opposite happens in the border with Serbia, where the Latin scripts in road signs are covered with spray-paint. Reconciliation is clearly another generation or two away.

Begginer’s luck or human tragedy? I would say both, unfortunately.



And the final photo today comes from Anoushavan Hambardzoumyan, an incoming MPA student.


This photo taken by me at the central Armenian village of Bazmaberd. The man in the photo is a worker at the local stone-cutting factory. The photo was taken in 2009.

New Student Photo Entry #30

The first three photos today come from Tim Shenk, an incoming MIA student.

Here are three photos from a trip that I took to Nepal in March 2009:

Rambha Maya Khamcha, her husband Yam Bahadur Khamcha and their daughter Janaki at their home near Tansen, Nepal. The couple participates in an HIV-awareness program sponsored by the organization I’ve been working for, Mennonite Central Committee.


My visit to Nepal coincided with Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. It is a great event, involving a lot of colored powder. A group of kids playfully attacked our vehicle with powder and water balloons on the road between Kathmandu and Pokhura.

Girls break rocks into gravel near Dhading, Nepal. Many families in the area rely on income from crushing and selling gravel, but the girls attend a local school that is trying to prepare them to earn a better living someday.


The following photo comes from Zaynab El Bernoussi from Morocco, an incoming MPA student.

This picture of a view from Cabo Girão was taken by my father last summer while we were in vacation in Madeira. Cabo Girão is the second highest sea cliff in Europe after Hornelen in Norway. I loved Madeira for its wonderful weather and the beauty of the nature there.


New Student Photo Entry #29

The first two photos come from Denise Lee, an incoming MPA in Development Practice student.

These photos were both taken on December 31, 2008 atop Ololokwe mountain, a sacred mountain to the Samburu people in North Eastern Kenya. This is an area where natural resources are being depleted at ever-increasing rates threatening the natural environment and the survival of wildlife in the region.  At the same time pastoralist communities are struggling as their economic development continues to be hindered by ethnic rivalries and insecurity.  The obstacles are tremendous, but I felt hopeful when learning about innovative new programs including the Northern Rangelands Trust which seeks to address both challenges by facilitating community-led conservation initiatives that improve human livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and rangeland management.

In the first photo our local Samburu guide, John, looks south towards Mount Kenya.  John is employed by a community owned and managed safari operation that offers trips up the mountain with local, experienced guides allowing visitors to experience the high altitude mist forest and panoramic vistas.


This photo shows three young Samburu Moran boys that we met with their cattle in the background.  It was striking to see tradition colliding with modernity particularly in the form of the automatic weapons they carried.  Samburu Moran boys moving from boyhood into manhood go up into Ololokwe for months at a time to live off the ground and prove their manhood.  The area is rife with conflict due to the Somalies and the Boran impinging on Samburu grazing ground.



The next two photos come from Karina Nagin, an incoming MPA student.

First Photo:  Taken at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  The tour guide had just finished explaining to our group how important it was to be respectful and not climb on any of the ruins, we then turned a corner to see this group giggling and laughing while scaling the walls for a group picture.  They were having so much fun I had to snap a pic.


Second Photo: Taken in a small town outside Bangalore, India.  In 2008 I was working in Bangalore and was invited to a weekend function in my colleague’s village.  During the all day ceremony two sisters pulled me away to go play in the neighboring sunflower field. It was one of the highlights of my stay.


"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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