Trench Town Comprehensive High School emerged the winner of the United States (US) Embassy's '50 Years of Democracy in Focus' High School Photography Competition, with its entry titled 'A Nation Aroused'. The awards ceremony was held at the embassy's Old Hope Road location on Wednesday, May 30. In attendance were Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater, and head of the Photography Department at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Donnette Zacca, each of whom served as judges.
Students and their respective school officials were also in attendance and eagerly awaited the announcement of the winner. The winning entry was determined by the combined decisions of the embassy's Facebook fans and the three judges, each with a 25 per cent weighting.
Before declaring the winner, both Ambassador Bridgewater and Minister Crawford lauded the students and teachers for their efforts and spoke of the importance of reflecting on Jamaica's 50 years of Independence to provoke visionary thinking among this youth population.
Donnette Zacca, in her address on the technical aspects of photography, offered constructive and thoughtful analysis of each entry.
Horace Mills, art teacher at Trench Town Comprehensive High, expressed his sincere gratitude for the prizes which included a photocopying machine, a touch-screen desktop computer with a publishing suite, and a professional camera.
"These items will go towards strengthening the capacity of the school's visual arts department and will assist students in obtaining the materials needed to fulfil aspects of the CXC visual arts syllabus," Mills said. He also noted that winning the competition serves as a milestone for the institution and will help to raise the morale of students and motivate them to passionately pursue their goals.
Penwood High was named first runner-up for its photo depicting Jamaica's history of enslavement to the freedoms now enjoyed by its people. Yallahs High took second runner-up for its entry which portrayed the diplomatic relationship between the US and Jamaica. Both schools received professional cameras with Penwood High also receiving a full publishing suite.
Eighteen entries were submitted by schools across the island. Each institution was asked to capture an iconic photo which best represents Jamaica at 50. To facilitate the competition, each school received a digital camera, printer/docking station and photo paper. The equipment given will also further the US Embassy's investment in the institutions whose students also participated in student journalism workshops held in October 2011.