I am Ping, a first year student of the Global Studies programme and I am currently organizing a photo exhibition titled “Tales of Two Cities.” The basic idea was to encourage people living in Leipzig to participate by taking two photos, one in Leipzig and the other in another city anywhere in the world. Participants could, of course, ask friends or family to take the second image for them.
So to tell you a bit about how the idea to organize this exhibition came about, on the 9th of November last year I met a young Mexican student called Marco under a part of the Berlin Wall while participating in the events marking 25 years since its fall. Marco’s only aim that day was to show up and take photos of a poster against the Mexican government. The poster was of significance because only two days before, thousands of people in his homeland were demonstrating for the 43 students who went missing following a local political incident.
As a result of Marco’s story, two pictures were left lingering in my mind: The Mexican student with a poster in Berlin and a crowd of people shouting and marching in Mexico. This story provided me with an analogy from within the world, namely that some people have (re)gained their rights a quarter of a century ago, while others still need to fight for them! Following this thought, I – as an international student – began to ask questions about the differences between where I live and where I belong, but also about life elsewhere. How about trying to capture all of these differences and similarities through photos of different cities? I felt so motivated by this idea that I decided to organise an exhibition around the theme.
The project is underway. The photo exhibition has received more than 30 groups pictures from more than 10 different cities, among which are ones depicting the cruelty of the civil war in Syria, peaceful life in Myanmar and the city landscape in China. You are welcome to come by and have a look. The photo exhibition will be held on the second floor of the main University of Leipzig campus, in the Hörsaal Gebäude, between July 06th and 12th. more info
By Ping Wen
Article originally published in the July 2015 newsletter of the Erasmus Mundus Global Studies Master’s program, reprinted with permission from the author.