The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Photo Competition is offered every year to IDRF recipients. Prizes are awarded for the best single photo, the best self-portrait, and best photo essay following a vote by IDRF fellows and staff. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 competition:

Single Photo Competition

IDRF Fellows Pick
Satisfaction Measure Tumaco, Colombia
Catalina Vallejo: Policies of Satisfaction. A group of women victims of sexual violence enters the Pacific sea in Tumaco led by a government official from the Victims Unit to throw a rock into the water that symbolizes their pain. Members of the guerrilla, the paramilitary or state forces abused them in the context of the Colombian armed conflict. The official explains to the women that they are about to leave all their suffering behind through this symbolic act that is officially call the “Satisfaction Measure.” Photo taken August 2017 in Tumaco, Colombia.
Fellowships Office Pick
Road to Cortés
Amelia Frank-Vitale: Road to Cortés. While the Honduran government waited to announce presidential election results, exacerbating deep concerns about fraud, people across the country took to the streets. They shut down important highways, like this road that connects San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital, to Puerto Cortés, the busiest port in Central America. The protests were met with deadly repression by security forces. Eventually, despite evidence of fraud, the incumbent, Juan Orlando Hernandez, was declared the winner. Photo taken December 2017 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Self Portrait Competition

IDRF Fellows Pick
Madrasa Class Zanzibar Tanzania
Caitlyn Bolton: Madrasa Class Ends. I was visiting an urban madrasa (Quranic school) in a poorer area of Zanzibar town with a local development organization that is hoping to improve madrasa pedagogy. The kids were shy at first, but not by the end. Photo taken December 2017 in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Fellowships Office Pick
Sawu, Indonesia
Gillian Bogart: Seashell Salt Walkabout. On Sawu, one of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands, salt is made in giant clam shells at the edge of the sea. Some of these shells have been in place for centuries, predating Dutch colonial invasion. The salt, sea water that crystallizes under the hot sun, is used for household consumption, food preservation, and exchange. Photo taken November 2017 in Sawu, Indonesia.

Photo Essay Competition

IDRF Fellows Pick: Dean Chahim

Fellowships Office Pick: Ognjen Kojanic

Video Submission

 Nerve V. Macaspac

In a global era when most wars are no longer fought between states, how do people make peace amid wars between state and non-state actors? In the Philippines, indigenous peoples of Sagada declared their community as a “peace zone” in 1988 and banned the entry of the military and New People’s Army (NPA), a non-state armed group waging the world’s longest communist insurgency. Existing research on peace zones identifies Sagada as a “best practice” model for other countries. For 30 years, the indigenous community of Sagada has effectively refused military and NPA presence, and prevented conflict-related civilian deaths and displacement. In my research I study the kinds of work required from civilian communities in making peace beyond the purview of the state. At stake in this project is a reconceptualization of peace beyond its dominant definition as the absence of violence, and peacebuilding as a state and technical project of conflict transformation. Rather than taking for granted the work that communities do in protecting their own lives, my research investigates how they imagine, enact and legitimize peace amid war. I use the term “insurgent peace” to foreground a renewed understanding of peace as dynamic socio-spatial and temporal processes through which civilians collectively refuse war, protect their own lives, and transform their political relationships to competing structures of power as a party equally affected by war.

Video taken on April 10, 2018 in Sagada, Philippines.

Previous photo competitions:  2017, 2016, 2015, 2014