22nd October 2013, 3:16pm
Award-winning photographer presents humanitarian findings in Parliament
'Levelling the playing field', Andrew West A student photographer from Lincoln has presented his work to the Houses of Parliament after completing a humanitarian volunteering programme and winning a global photography competition.

Andrew West, who is currently in his final year of a BA (Hons) Media Production degree at the University of Lincoln, completed the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme in Honduras over the summer. As part of the scheme, Andrew worked with human rights organisation, Jóvenes Liderando Cambios (Youth Leading Change).

Throughout the summer, Andrew filmed his experiences in a bid to capture the essence of a different culture, and encourage other students to engage with life-changing volunteering projects. Andrew produced an extensive collection of photographs, and one image in particular was recognised with the award for Civic Participation in the global ICS Photography Competition.

Andrew said: “I wanted to learn about another culture and capture the way they lived. In my time in Honduras I filmed our entire journey, and now I hope to change the perception of volunteering for many young people through my documentary. I met some amazing people and did so many things I will never get the chance to do again, while undertaking the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I thoroughly recommend ICS to all 18 to 25 year olds; challenge your perception of poverty and everything else in the world.”

On his return from Honduras, Andrew was invited to present his findings to Members of Parliament, and he took the opportunity to discuss the benefits of encouraging students to engage with humanitarian projects around the world.

Andrew added: “It was great to get the chance to explain more about my experiences to MPs too. Presenting my work in the Houses of Parliament felt like a great achievement.”

Sarah Barrow, Head of the University of Lincoln’s School of Media, said: “We are so proud of Andrew and his achievements. He has done exactly what we hope all our students will do – use his creative talents and media skills to make a difference in society. He thoroughly deserves this accolade and we know he has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Andrew’s award-winning photograph, entitled “Levelling the playing field”, captures a unique moment in a women’s football tournament, held in an indigenous Honduras community. Three different villages took part in the competition, which was founded to promote gender equality across the country. Andrew’s photo, which depicts the winning penalty of the match being taken on a pitch thick with mud, was praised by the international judges as “a perfect example of a moment captured that tells a whole story”.

Now back in Lincoln, Andrew is working on a range of external commissions via New Media Lincs, the School of Media’s innovative new social enterprise which links students with local businesses and arts organisations to provide creative media solutions.

To view the winning photo and more of Andrew’s award-winning portfolio, visit: http://www.andrewgwest.co.uk.
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