‘Divergent Thinking and Global Imagination’ Exhibit Reflects on Learning in the World Opportunities

With palms facing upward, several hands form a circle and display their intricate floral hen- na designs in “Untitled,” a photo- graph taken by Claire Glover ’16. Glover took the photograph in 2014 during Niswarth, a Learning in the World three-week summer program in India that focused on education, development, com- munity, and personal reflection. Glover’s photograph was one of the many artworks on display as part of “Divergent Thinking and Global Imagination,” a new ex- hibit in the Steinbach Gallery in George Washington Hall.

“Divergent Thinking and Global Imagination,” curated by the Tang Institute, the Art De- partment, and several students, consists of several photographs, a ceramics piece, a film made by Skyler Sallick ’16, and another by Alex Emerson ’17, and many journal entries and reflections. It features original works by Ando- ver students who were inspired by their 2014-2015 Learning in the World experiences. Over 140 students and 23 faculty members participated in Learning in the World programs, traveling to lo- cations like China, Peru, India, Brazil, France, Russia, and Ger- many.

Carmen Muñoz-Fernán- dez, Director of Learning in the World, said, “We expect the Learning in the World experience not to be a one off thing that [stu- dents] do. You have this amazing experience… and when you come back, nobody knows, you cannot share it with anybody. It is kind

of something you do outside of what we do on campus. We did not want that. We want Learning in the World to be part of what we do on campus, when we come back, we want to still be connect- ed, we want to gather and talk about it, and connect it to the cur- riculum and the classes, connect it to everything that we do.”

Taken during the Brazil PLAC- ES Program in 2015, “Christ the Redeemer Reflection” by Eliot Zaeder ’17 and Brandon Girard ’16 features Zaeder wearing black sunglasses that reflect the promi- nent statue, Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Several of Zaeder’s works that are on dis- play around the exhibition are from PLACES and the Bad Re- ichenhall American Association of Teachers of German Program in 2015.

“I guess what inspired me [to take photos] is that I’ve always really loved travelling and I used to travel with my mom and sister. Because my dad works at [Ando- ver, during] vacation times [we] never got together so [my family and I] always travelled without my dad and I always wanted to show my dad where I went and things like that so that is how my love for photography sprung,” said Zaeder. “I’ve also always been really interested in Brazil and Germany and those are the places that I went over the sum- mer… [Photography] is just kind of a fun way for me to document my memories and obviously I think that when I am older, it will be a great resource for me to re- member how great my life was and what I did.”

Zaeder enjoys experiment- ing with long exposures, and he used this skill to take a rare photo of lightning in Bad Reichenhall, Germany. The lightning curls in the black-violet sky over a treach- erous river and mountains.

“I really like [my lightning photo]… mostly because it is a re- ally hard shot to take. A lot of luck goes into it and it is kind of hard to get the right exposure because the background, the night is re- ally dark and the lightning bolt is so bright so it is hard to keep both sides exposed, and I think that I kind of just got lucky and it was just a good shot. I was in the right place at the right time,” said Zaeder.

After the 2015 Human Under- standing through Archaeology and Cultural Awareness (HUA- CA) Project in Peru, Emily San- chez ’18 wrote a reflection about meeting her Peruvian ancestors

as well as finding an appreciation for the Incas’ embracement of na- ture.

“I am Peruvian American so going to the actual place and stepping on the steps that my an- cestors made was actually pretty amazing,” said Sanchez. “We got to visit Machu Picchu and we got to go on the Inca Trail. We got to visit their construction and some of the more preserved parts of it before the conquistadors came and messed up everything. I got to see that and usually those are very rare places because even in history, everything is pretty much whitewashed or Spanish-washed in this case. So seeing it in its pure form and something that has been so whitewashed in my family was really amazing and awesome.”

Hypnotiq was the entertain- ment of the opening reception

last Friday. They danced to snip- pets of “WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott, feat. Pharrell Williams; “Formation” by Beyoncé; “The Water Dance” by Chris Porter, feat. Pitbull; and “Freakalator” by Soundmaster T.

“We do call the programs ‘Learning in the World,’ but in re- ality, most of our students, I would say all of our students, when they travel, they learn mostly about themselves, and you can learn so much about yourself just by being in contact with another culture and by learning to be patient, to be empathetic, to be open to dif- ferent ideas, to different ways of doing things, to different foods,” said Muñoz-Fernández.