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My Scholarship entry - A 'place' I have visited

Dominican Republic | Friday, 28 June 2013 | 5 photos

I came upon travel early in life. My mother’s a singer and she’d take me everywhere on tour. It was no surprise when at 15 I chose to see the world on my own, but what began as a holiday became a passion. Two years later I went to Belgium for a year.

As an AFS’er, I discovered different cultures and my mind opened, but the contrast I saw as I got back home hit me. Coming from a developing country, you realize there’s no balance regarding economy, education or even basic human rights. I felt an urge to contribute and joined an NGO that builds emergency houses for people who live in extreme poverty. “Poor” doesn’t fully depict the housing conditions in the Dominican Republic, where 50% live with less than a dollar a day.

For the past 3 years I used photography as protest, to raise awareness. I’m no pro but what drives me to get a better shot is reflecting emotion in pictures. I want the viewer to feel something, whether it’s anger or sympathy. I want them to grasp that there’s more to life besides our daily fuss and that the world awaits. I aspire to mix travel and social photography, which is why this is a huge opportunity to learn. Being selected would be a dream come true.

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