By Jaci Lerner
Contributing Writer

This is the fifth and final article in our 2014 Week of Photo Journals: Changing Perspectives. We hope you have enjoyed the beautiful photography and travel accounts from UC San Diego students. Until next year!

“Retrospective” – Vienna, Austria

Dancing in front of the Gottfried Helnwein Retrospective Exhibition at the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

“The Heart of Zagreb” – Zagreb, Croatia

This photo was taken in Lenucijeva potkova, a horse-shoe of parks and monuments located in the middle of Donji grad, a district in the very center of Zagreb. As far as I’m concerned, this woman was the heart of Zagreb as much as she was in it.

“In The Shade” – Berlin, Germany

This was captured on the Simonsonweg, a pathway cutting from Pariser Platz to the Reichstag, just in front of a parting in the trees that opens onto the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under the National Socialist Regime.

“Astronomical” – Prague, Czech Republic

The Prague orloj, or Prague astronomical clock, in Old Town Square.

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers” – Zagreb, Croatia

I have a dear friend with that Emerson quote tattooed across her forearm, and thanks to her, the words have been revolving in my head for a few years now. I’m not sure that this man got the memo. I caught this at the Dolac open-air farmer’s market with a tourist’s map of Zagreb in my hand, which is what obscures the left third of the photo.

“Adalgisa” – Furci, Italy

At some point, I found myself living in an ex-convent with a Shi Tzu, a priest, and his mother. This is their neighbor, beautiful Adalgisa, walking through her “paradiso” with an armful of cauliflower. Of all the people I’ve ever met on my travels, she was the one with the kindest eyes and biggest heart. I think about her all the time.

“The Brave One” – Doha, Qatar

Surrounded by sky cranes and skyscrapers, Souq Waqif is a standing market and an intentionally preserved homage to pre-modernized Doha. For me, the most exciting part of the market was the animal souq. It is a sad but fascinating cluster of stacked cages, full of puppies, sugar gliders, falcons, even chicks that are dyed bright colours, like living Peeps. This boy was proudly the bravest of his siblings, who had tried before him to hold the little bird but ran away screaming and giggling at the last second.

“Rowing Old” – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

If you’re ever in Croatia and only have time to see one thing, let Plitvice be it.

“With Wings” – Doha, Qatar

This is the proprietor of the aforementioned birds in Souq Waqif. It took me six months to notice his shirt.

“Silence” – Prague, Czech Republic

I think about silence all the time. Where and how to find it, how to engage with it, why I love it but am rarely comfortable in it. This moment was so quiet in itself that I have to strain to remember the busy sounds of Wenceslas Square: the street car, the passing conversations, the trumpet player behind me. Savages published a manifesto and album last year called Silence Yourself, and it calls for just that as a way to recompose. I think they’re onto something.

“Il Suo Cuore” – Furce, Italy

This is Adalgisa, caught in just one of the many moments where her soul shines through.

“Little Bird” – Doha, Qatar

This was also taken at the animal souq in Doha. She had been so reserved as she surveyed the birds, but as soon as this one was on her sleeve she broke out with the biggest, sweetest grin. I love her little underbite.

“A Little Rain” – Prague, Czech Republic

As a surprise rain shower fell in Old Town Square and the performers ran for cover, these ladies produced umbrellas out of thin air and hurried to the middle of the square to take turns trading the camera for the orange one.

“Swipe” – Doha, Qatar

Of all the interactions I watched people have with the birds, hers was the most surprising. Silently, without warning, she approached the stand, extended a tattooed finger, and swiped them all off of their perch.


By Alejandro Martinez-Inzunza
Contributing Writer

This is the fourth article in our 2014 Week of Photo Journals: Changing Perspectives. Check back each day this week to see more beautiful photography and travel accounts from UC San Diego students.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Dating back to the 12th Century CE, Angkor Wat is the world’s oldest and, at 400 square kilometers, also the world’s largest religious site. The complex lies in Cambodia, where it first served as the religious center of the Khmer Empire. While access to the site was limited for decades by the Khmer Rouge, the complex has begun to welcome visitors, who especially flock to the main temple, pictured here.

Guanajuato, Mexico

The city of Guanajuato lies in the middle of a valley in the middle of Mexico. The city, pictured here, houses over 100,000 residents and serves as the capital of Guanajuato state. Visible in the photo are the University of Guanajuato, identifiable by its Neoclassical architectural style, and the church on the Plaza de la Paz. Contrasting with these aged buildings are the dwellings rapidly spreading across the hillsides.

Wat Mahatha

Thailand boasts numerous impressive Buddhist monuments, and this statue, residing in Wat Mahathat, a temple complex in Ayutthaya Historical Park, is no exception. Constructed centuries ago, the head of Buddha has been nearly entirely ensconced by a tree’s roots.

Marina Reservoir, Singapore

A series of structures called Supertrees now tower over the Gardens by the Bay, a newly-constructed garden complex in Singapore’s Marina Reservoir. Connecting the man-made trees is a pedestrian skybridge. The “trees” themselves are also gardens, full of ferns, orchids and the like.

Puebla, Mexico

In the historic center of Puebla, Mexico runs the Avenida 5 Oriente. The architectural style of the city is encapsulated by the small section of wall depicted here: the historic center of the city is all bright pastels occasionally punctuated by colorful ceramic tiles.

Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

When traversing rural Thailand, elephants serve as effective transportation. In this picture, the elephants are trundling through the valleys of Kanchanaburi Province on their way to the famed Tiger temple, with several curious students in tow.


A Cambodian farmer tends to his rice paddies. His land lies adjacent to some of the infamous Killing Fields, a series of sites where the brutal Khmer Rouge regime murdered and buried more than one million victims.


A parachuting paratrooper leaves a bright streak against the Singapore sky. This descent was a part of the 2012 celebration of National Day, which commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia, and was accompanied by a military parade through the city.

Plaza de la Revolucion, Havana, Cuba

One of the classic cars so closely associated with Cuba drives in front of a sculpture of national hero Che Guevara in Havana’s Revolution Square. The text below roughly translates to “Until victory, always.”

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

An up-close look at one of the aged statues in Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex reveals the toll the elements have taken on the statue, but also how the statues were constructed and the intricate detail that went into each one.


By Ellyette Iverson
Contributing Writer

This is the third article in our 2014 Week of Photo Journals: Changing Perspectives. Check back each day this week to see more beautiful photography and travel accounts from UC San Diego students.

Cusco, Peru. The location has been surrounded with an air of mystery, adventure and exoticism since it was made famous by Hiram Bingham’s ‘discovery’ of Machu Picchu in 1911. National Geographic later published photos from his voyage, which introduced readers around the world to a new sensational imagery. Today, the obsession continues, and tourists flock to Cusco in order to experience the wonder and awe brought forth by this discovery made over 100 years ago. But is it the same? Not quite. Cusco, which was once the capital of the great Inca Empire and one of the most powerful cities in the world, has become a place of rapid modernization and pop-up tour agencies, often hiding the magical wonders that quietly exist outside of the “tourist circuit.” As a student living in Peru, I had the opportunity to observe and discovery the other Cusco—the one filled with both modern and ancient stories. It was this Cusco that introduced me to the true Cusqueños who live there and let me see the wonders that were not so obvious at first glance.

Ceremonial rising of the flag. Plaza de Armas, Cusco.

Every Sunday, local government officials gather in the main square to honor various groups and organizations, as well as raise the cities flag with pride. Ironically, the city shares the same flag as the Gay Pride movement in the United States, and this connection has not been received well by the dominant “machismo” community of Cusco. Here, the rainbow signifies the origin of the Inca Empire, when, according to Inca myth, the founding emperors chose to settle in the valley of Cusco after a thrown staff sank deeply into the fertile grounds and a rainbow appeared overhead.

Commuter Bus, Sacred Valley (2 hours outside of Cusco)

One of the most entertaining subjects among travelers is the Peruvian dependence on buses for almost all transportation needs. In town, kombis, or small buses, are often packed to the brim with locals. While convenient and cheap, some of the buses can be extremely uncomfortable and at times dangerous. Nevertheless, bus rides always tend to be colorful experiences. Unlike our dreary public transportation system in the United States, bus drivers in Peru take pride in their vehicles, and often go to great extents to decorate and customize them with religious symbols and soccer accessories.

Glass Shard Balustrade. San Blas, Cusco

As you climb further into the hills surrounding the city of Cusco, the views become more spectacular while the architecture becomes less appealing. These barrios, or “neighborhoods,” tend to consist of the most basic homes with people often reusing materials for construction purposes. Broken glass bottles are often found atop walls. The other popular security measure is to plant cactus directly into the mud brick walls. While somewhat crude, these uses can be effective and at times even beautiful.

Dia de Los Muertos Flower Market.

While Americans busy themselves with preparations for Halloween, Peruvians begin preparing for two national holidays which take place on Nov. 1 and 2—Dia de Los Vivos and Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Living and the Day of the Dead). These holidays are meant to celebrate the cycle of life, starting with a celebration of life and ending with a remembrance day for those who have passed on. During this time, it is very common to see flower markets appear along the streets and plazas, with almost every local purchasing floral offerings for their deceased.

Peruvian Tuk-Tuk. Sacred Valley.

Just outside of Cusco lies the Sacred Valley, a lush agricultural area that sits along the bottom of a magnificent valley. Small towns dot the countryside, and transportation ranges from the public buses and taxis to the tiny tuk-tuks, or covered motorcycle cabbies, which act as the main traffic in the small roads crisscrossing through the towns. These can get especially colorful because drivers often compete for best designs in a unofficial competitions.

Hylephila peruana, Parque Privada de Santa Maria

As the city of Cusco grows at an increasingly rapid pace, ecosystems in the vicinity of the city have quickly disappeared. Places like the Parque Privada de Santa Maria have attempted to conserve sections of wildlife space in outlying neighborhoods. However, these areas are constantly faced with financial problems and lack of resources, holding their position as the only conservation park in Cusco on very shaky ground. This area is home to a variety of plant and animal species endangered in the area, including this moth, whose larvae was once eaten as a delicacy by the Inca nobility.

Huaca Cinca, Cusco.

Throughout Andean history, natural formations have held very important religious roles among the people. The fact that so many were dependent on the land for survival made certain landmarks very obvious places of worship. When the Spaniards arrived in Cusco, they calculated that the Inca Empire oversaw at least 3000 of these “shrines,” which ranged from fresh water springs to massive rocks and large obscure trees. Today, many of the huacas have been forgotten or destroyed. But some have lived on, such as this boulder that overlooks the city. While these historical sites are virtually unknown to tourists, they are carefully looked after by the local Cusqueños who live around it and hold as a very important place in the history of Peru.