NYUAD Students Take Top Spots in Inter-university Photo Competition

NYUAD Downtown Campus and garden

NYUAD students Jack Dickson, Nikolai Kozak, and Alberto Manca, swept first, second and third places respectively in the inter-university category of Murdoch University Dubai's 4th Annual Photography Exhibition, which was themed "UAE: The Future Discovered."

Jack Dickson took first place for his image "Portrait of Worker" (the first photograph in the gallery below) a close-up image of the face of a construction worker near the central souk while on a work break.

Alberto Manca, who won third place for the photo "The Workers," said he had chanced upon a scene of workers sitting on the side of the street around DTC and happened to have his camera with him.

"I just turned, pointed, and shot a few photos," he said, "it was really a spontaneous moment."

For Manca the event was a great opportunity to pursue one of his passions: "Although I'm not a film or photography major — I'm an economics major — I enjoy taking photos and it was fun. It is really rewarding to see it hanging on the wall."

The competition was themed "UAE: The Future Discovered" this year, and was broken down into three competitive categories: Murdoch University students, Inter-University, and Open Amateur. Nine photographs out of the ten finalist selections in the Inter-University category belonged to the three NYUAD students. The winners were revealed during an exhibition and award ceremony at The Shelter in Dubai that was attended by H.E. Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

"The exhibition on display here tonight, illustrates what many books and essays have tried to do: the birth and rise of a young nation, its growing self-confidence on the international stage, its cultural diversity, the impact of development on the environment, a clash of traditional cultures and modern technologies, and a vision for the UAE's future prosperity and welfare," he said.

The exhibition will continue on at the venue until April 12, 2012, and is open for viewing to the public.

"I went up to him but we didn't have a common language. I raised my camera, he nodded and allowed me to take a couple of shots," he said.

The image was taken for the class Sound, Image and Story as part of a project called "Sense of Place," which gave students the opportunity to get out of the classroom and explore and connect with the city and its people, while building their photographic base of knowledge.

Oliver Clark, photographer for Gulf News and a competition judge, explained the selection decision: "To me, a great picture is one that makes you feel like you're there, and when you look at it, you feel like he's looking at you."

Nikolai Kozak won the second place prize for his picture "Pull," an image he took in Umm al Quwain during the J-Term Photojournalism class, which captures the hands and arms of a group of fisherman in their collective effort to pull sharks out of the pit of the fishing boat.

"What I like about it is the geometry of the hands and the fact that you almost have to create the characters of the people that belong to the hands," he said.

Although I'm not a film or photography major — I'm an economics major — I enjoy taking photos and it was fun. It is really rewarding to see it hanging on the wall.

Alberto Manca, NYUAD Class of 2015