Two Richard Huish College students have received awards from University of Cambridge after entering their Sociology Department’s annual international photography competition.
This year the theme for the competition was ‘Future Sociologies’ and each entrant had to provide a photograph and an accompanying paragraph that detailed how the photo interprets the theme. Entries were submitted from students worldwide in Years 10, 11 and 12. Students were encouraged to have a creative outlook on the theme and think about what the future might look like in terms of; work, relationships, education, nature, communities, technologies or their own focus. They were also given a few examples to help generate ideas such as: the coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter and climate crisis.
Cambridge University awarded Amy Cleal an honourable mention with the judges being highly impressed by Amy’s use of quantitative statistical data alongside qualitative personal testimony to illustrate the pressing social issue of sexual and gender justice. Amy’s photo was titled “Sexual Harassment”. The powerful entry reflected on a recent survey by UN women, which found that a shocking 97% of women aged 18 to 24 have been sexually harassed, while 80% of all ages said they had been harassed in public.
Amy shared from her own experiences, saying “I have been getting ‘cat called’ from the age of 13. I could be wearing jeans and a hoodie and still get something yelled at me. Sexual harassment happens every day and women are struggling, and society keeps women supressed by normalizing harassment, such as saying ‘boys will be boys’. These protests may not change much now, but for the future things will change. It is a start; it is women coming together to be stronger and speak out.”Jago Yelland made the shortlist of top five entries with an intriguing composition that really captured the imagination of the judges, as did the connection to post-modernism, materialism and mental health.
Explaining the composition of his photo, titled ‘Behind The Schemes’, he shared “the theory I chose to take inspiration from when creating my image around ‘future sociology’ is post-modernism. I chose to reflect the insecurity many feel linked to self-worth and social media that post-modern theorists believe encapsulates people’s minds. I also wanted to show how our materialistic, profit focused society has a massively negative effect on people’s mental health and self-esteem, causing them to value money rather than time and experiences”.
The Huish Sociology Department simultaneously ran their own competition using the same ‘Future Sociologies’ theme. The internal competition was judged by Principal Emma Fielding with Amy Cleal taking first place, Jago Yelland placing second and Paulina Pamulak placing third. Hannah Curtis, Sociology Course Manager at Huish shared “These competitions are a great opportunity for the students to apply their sociological knowledge to contemporary issues and foster a love of learning outside of the classroom’.