You are here

People These Days

9 Oct 2016

“Compassion can be put into practice if one recognizes the fact that every human being is a member of humanity and the human family regardless of differences in religion, culture, color and creed. Deep down there is no difference.” -The Dalai Lama 

I’m the girl who always has a camera in hand. I love everything about photography and it brings me great joy to take portraits of others or photos of my surroundings. Photography has an incredible capability to capture the smallest of moments that are often missed, whether it be a facial expression or how light filters through trees at a specific time of day. I often create different projects that I work on over periods of time to keep my creativity flowing. Before going abroad I had an idea in mind to start a series of portraits, taken of strangers that I would encounter while traveling around Europe. I originally thought it would be a good way to meet new people from all over the world, but once I actually arrived in Milan, this idea evolved an entirely new meaning. It hadn’t dawned on me the number of people I would be meeting, and from all different kinds of backgrounds. I also quickly realized how that even if these people lead completely different lifestyles than I do, there will always be something we can connect over because in the end we are simply, people. We might have different religions or skin colors, and we might say hello in different languages, but that’s what should bring us together. Being abroad has especially opened my mind to how important it is to accept these differences with open arms. We always have the opportunity to learn from others and in the process learn more about ourselves. 

Among the photos in this series, some are candid and in some I have asked the person if I can take their picture. I think it's interesting to notice the difference in facial expressions when people don't know they're getting their photo taken vs. when they do. I also like observing how people react when you ask to take their picture. Just the simple question usually turns into an entire conversation, because by taking their photo, a barrier is broken that makes them more willing to share their stories. I haven't been turned away yet! 

With this project, I hope to portray that it shouldn’t matter where a person is from, but rather we each have unique features and qualities that contribute to the beauty of humanity. I decided to keep the photos in black and white because color can sometimes be a distraction and I want the focus to be solely on the person. It also helps to convey the message that there are two sides to humanity - the colorful side that keeps us diverse and different, and the black and white side that keeps us uniform - as we are all part of one human race. Our differences should be embraced, and not ignored.

If you're studying abroad, I challenge you to talk to someone new everyday. Even if it's just small talk with a waiter or the person standing next to you on the metro, there's always so much to discover even from the simplest conversations. And maybe you'll even make a new friend! The more we know and understand about our differences, the more accepting we will be and the more we can get out of our study abroad experiences. 

To keep up with my project, check out the album on my Facebook page, Abigail Grinberg Photography! 



From Our Blogs

Jan 19 3:23am

Top 10 Study Abroad Instagram Photos from December 2017 & January 2018

by Natasha Brower

During the past two months, our students (both past and present) have been reflecting on their incredible experiences while studying abroad.

Learn more
Jan 17 1:12pm

What does prepping look like?

by Adaoma Ogbonnaya

Preparing to leave the country for a semester can be hard and stressful. We all deal with that stress in different ways. What to pack is always a tough question because you're not only packing physical things like clothes and products, but also prior knowledge.

Learn more
Jan 16 5:27pm

Here's Good Luck & Away We Go

by Hannah Geller

A sense of familiarity before inevitable uncertainty.

Learn more
Jan 16 3:12pm

Exploring Ireland from East to West

by Madison Weaver

There are two things that I underestimated when I arrived in Ireland: just how much tea the Irish drink, and just how easy it is to travel around the country!

Learn more
Jan 16 2:43pm

So Many Sights In So Little Time

by Peyton

It’s been a little over a week since I first arrived in Quito, and there have already been too many sights and experiences to count. Every Ecuadorian I’ve met so far has been incredibly kind and welcoming, and I can already feel myself falling in love with the culture.

Learn more
Jan 16 10:23am

Research and Passports and Visas, oh my!

by Sarah Craig

Tips and hints about how to approach researching programs, getting a passport, and applying for a visa without your parent's help!

Learn more