Students Capture Milan on Camera During Summer Program

by Rashad Mulla

Students Capture Milan on Camera During Summer Program

This past July, communication professor Catherine Wright led her third annual summer study abroad trip to Milan, Italy, for George Mason University students. Now, three of her students will present a photographic recap of their experiences.

Senior Suzanne Radcliffe and junior Allison Wruk, both majoring in communication, and junior Stephanie Knapp, majoring in art and visual technology, will present their photography collections on Thursday, Nov. 4 between 12 and 2:30 p.m. in the second floor hallway of Science and Tech II. The actual photographs will be displayed until November 12. The exhibit will be open to all faculty, staff, students and the general public. 

As part of an assignment for one of the study abroad courses, COMM 452: Media Production Practicum, Wright asked the students to take a photo each day and write a supplementary caption, while linking the entire collection to a central theme or meaning. While Wright previewed the collection, the theme will remain a mystery until the day of the exhibit.

“I just wanted them to go out and look at things through the camera lens,” Wright said. “As somebody who is a foreigner, what strikes you about this country? About this city? About this trip? And why is it different?”

Wruk, whose series is titled "A Month in Milan," explores the entire city.

"I cover a lot of the sightseeing you can do around the city, as well as the food and beverages," she said. "My [series] is very bright."

Radcliffe's series, "A Look at the Bigger Picture," focuses on exploring the same people or events through multiple perspectives. Her collection will highlight the bustling activity near one of Milan's public fountains.

"The idea behind the project is that in communication, people commonly miscommunicate," she said. "This is because people are generally focused on something from one perspective (their own), and sometimes cannot see how that perspective fits into the bigger picture. I have a series of pictures surrounded by a bigger picture of the full scene that shows this idea."

Knapp, whose 16-photo series focuses on the unlikely combination of fashion and mopeds, said her photos show Milan as more than just a fashion capital.

“I chose to concentrate my photographic study in Milan on how people are willing to put so much effort into their appearance,” Knapp wrote in her series description. “Even when riding a moped down the street.”

Knapp, Radcliffe and Wruk will be available periodically between 12 and 2:30 p.m. on the day of the exhibit to answer questions and talk about their snapshots of Milan.

“Sure, people can read papers or articles explaining [cultural] differences,” Knapp said. “But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Photo and thumbnail image captured by Flickr user Dan Kamminga and reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licensing.